2017 All-Value Team: Baseball’s Top Pre-Arb Players at Each Position

When it comes to the baseball diamond, we hear a ton about the ballplayers who are taking home the most money — whether it’s over the life of a certain contract or a singular season. After all, if we put together a lineup with the highest-paid players at each position, it’d be pretty expensive.

But with the youth movement that’s happening throughout baseball, there are a bunch of players providing top-tier production for just a fraction of the price.

Some teams have already locked up their young talent to extensions — Rougned Odor‘s deal with the Texas Rangers is the latest example — yet there are still plenty stuck in between while waiting to become eligible for arbitration. Until that happens, organizations can get an incredible deal when a player’s salary is compared to their actual on-field production.

With that in mind, we set out to find the game’s best pre-arbitration players at each position. The only criteria: they can’t be eligible for arbitration yet or be signed to a long-term extension. So, is this list somewhat subjective? Yes, it is.

Some 2017 contract figures haven’t been released yet, but we can at least make some rough estimates on what they will be.

Without further adieu, here is the 2017 All-Value Team.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Advertisements

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 27, 2017

8710-508559fr

Recording on a day that was a lot windier than I realized, I honored the late Todd Frohwirth. He might not be a name you remember, but he will be remembered by those that he affected.

Showing worth on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 26, 2017

wbc960x540_6yg0ramb_nzmoqqk6

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I have no doubt the WBC final was exciting and for fans of the WBC, I am sure it was a huge highlight.

Now comes the hard part: Building on it.

Let’s start the season already on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Milwaukee Brewers Follow-up: Ray Peters

I feel fortunate to have made some connections with ex-Brewers in the past two years. Not everyone wants to talk of course, and some guys say the number games they played combined with the passage of time make their memories not reliable enough to share.  Others have been very giving with their time and memories.  One such connection I made is with 1970 cup of coffee pitcher Ray Peters.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

 

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 25, 2017

moneyball

Columbia Pictures

In the latest episode of The Teams That Should Have Won, I cover the Oakland A’s.

There are a lot of A’s teams that frustrated their fan base over the years. But only the 2002 A’s could have given their fans a Hollywood Ending… literally!

Cue “The Show” on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

2017 Pennant Race Predictions (with the Coolest, Strangest Stats and Facts)

 

For better or worse, statistics are the lingua franca of baseball, the language (and lifeblood) of the game.

We say “better or worse,” because as we all know, statistics can be misinterpreted or manipulated to support specious arguments (“Juan Gonzalez deserved the 1996 MVP because…RBI”), create divisions amongst fans (“old school” vs “sabermetrics”), confound or clarify (WAR and its components, particularly defensive metrics prior to the StatCast era).

But stats are also something else: A way to keep score, of course. A way to rate and rank our favorite players and teams.  A favorite diversion (one that transcends mediums, from baseball cards to baseball-reference.com).

And, as Kevin Reavy and Ryan Spaeder, authors of “Incredible Baseball Stats: The Coolest, Strangest Stats and Facts in Baseball History” know, stats are just plain fun. So fun, in fact, that they can make the annual fool’s errand known as predicting the division races for the coming year a worthwhile exercise.

Here then, a list of cool, strange, illuminating and just plain fun statistical nuggets discovered or uncovered by Reavy and Spaeder – one per team, in predicted order of 2017 finish.  For much, much more you’ll want to check out their book (really, the best ones are still there to be discovered by the reader). As they write in their introduction, “there’s a monstrous pile of data and satiating sabermetric goodies in this book…. But also, there are some really incredible stories.”

READ MORE ON PLATE COVERAGE

Finally…The USA Wins A World Baseball Classic, But Does Anyone Care?

Team USA WBC 2017.jpgIt’s taken four World Baseball Classics, but the US has finally won and did so in convincing fashion last night, with an 8-0 victory over runner-up from the 2013 Classic, Puerto Rico.  Marcus Stroman was dominant, Ian Kinsler was clutch in starting the scoring for the US with a two-run homer, and the defense and relief pitching held up nicely!

That said, outside of my baseball friends, no one is talking about the Classic what-so-ever.  Yes, the WBC is growing with over 1 million fans attending games this season (previous best was 800k in 2009), but are we really seeing favorability towards the tournament in this country?  When you boil it down, it still seems like the major issue here in the US is two-fold.  First, the lack of star player participation I think is the biggest issue which leads to second, overall performance.  Maybe with the US winning, that changes things.  The one thing I don’t want to hear from people is that the players just don’t care with it being an exhibition.  Check the video out of the US not caring about winning…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 24, 2017

FullSizeRender

I lost a podcast and ALL my Text Messages today.

Maybe that is a lesson… maybe I need to shed things and move on.

Live for today on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin Really Need to Have Strong Starts

Fresh off two consecutive postseason appearances, the Toronto Blue Jays are primed to compete for a spot in October once again in 2017. They’ll be doing it with some fresh faces, though.

Edwin Encarnacion and his powerful bat were a huge part of those two playoffs runs, but he plays for the Cleveland Indians now. The Blue Jays re-signed Jose Bautista, but have also brought in Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce to make up for the void Edwing has left in the lineup.

His absence will put some pressure on other parts of the offense, like Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin, who Roster Resource projects to hit fifth and sixth in the order, respectively.

While the starting rotation was surprisingly great last year, the offense collectively struggled over the first two months, posting a 90 wRC+ in April and 97 wRC+ in May before finishing with a mark of 102 for the entire season. The offense has to get off on the right foot this year to prevent another slow start (12-14 record on May 1 last year, 29-26 on June 1).

Tulowitzki and Martin will need to be a big part of that.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 23, 2017

ap-dallas-green

AP

Dallas Green died today. He may not have been cute and cuddly, but he woke up two dormant fan bases and gave them something to cheer about in the 1980’s.

Paying respects on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

How The MLB’s Top Prospects Are Faring This Spring

torres, Gleyber yankeesSpring is always a fun time as we see a lot of prospects getting time on the field with current Major Leaguers and probably more so this year with players missing on teams for the World Baseball Classic.  Some of these prospects may just be up for an at bat or two to get a look at the bigs, others may be getting some unexpected extra time due to surprising performance, while a few prospects will be fighting for a spot on the roster when heading north for the start of the season.  Here’s a peak at how the prospects from my Top 100 Prospects For 2017 are doing so far this spring (as of  3/21)…

  1. Andrew Benintendi, OF/BOS – 15 game, 43 AB, 13 H, 6 doubles, 2 HR,  8 RBI, 5 K, .302 avg, .961 OPS
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS/ATL – 8 games, hitting .333, with a double, HR, 4 RBI and 8 K’s, .940 OPS
  3. Alex Reyes, RHP/STL/9 – Injured, has not pitched
  4. Yoan Moncada, 2B/CWS – 17 games, 41 AB, 13 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 14 K, .317 avg, 1.074 OPS
  5. Gleyber Torres, SS/NYY – 19 games, 29 AB, 13 H, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .448 avg, 1.400 OPS
  6. J.P. Crawford, SS/PHI – 12 games, 29 AB, 6 H, 2B, .207 avg, .523 OPS
  7. Amed Rosario, SS/NYM/74 – 14 games, 30 AB, 8 H, 2B, 3 RBI, 7 K, .267 avg, .567 OPS
  8. Victor Robles, OF/WAS – 3 games, 4 AB, BB
  9. Austin Meadows, OF/PIT – 16 G, 32 AB, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 12K, .313 avg, .936 OPS
  10. Lucas Giolito, RHP/CWS – 4 starts, 9.2 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 6 K, .297 avga, 1.55 WHIP

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Which MLB Teams Have Been in the Playoffs the Most This Century?

The 2017 MLB regular season is on the brink of getting underway, which means it’s another chance for team’s to re-write their history by making a deep run into October. Spring Training and Opening Day are the best times to be optimistic about that possibility — no matter how unrealistic it may seem for certain clubs.

But who could really use a fruitful playoff appearance the most?

A lot had been made throughout 2016 about the Chicago Cubs and the 108-year championship drought they finally ended against the Cleveland Indians last November. No professional sports team can come close to that kind of postseason misery, and we’re not going to try and compare anything to it.

We already know that teams like the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals rule their respective leagues when it comes to all-time World Series titles, and even just playoff appearances in general. But since we’re well into this century, it’s a perfect time to take a quick look back at recent postseason history.

Below is a table ranked by a team’s number of postseason appearances. It also shows the year of their most recent postseason appearance, along with their number of trips to the World Series and whether or not they’ve brought home any titles.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 22, 2017

Tim+Beckham+Boston+Red+Sox+v+Tampa+Bay+Rays+4HMAoU6_4u0l

Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images North America

Some teams pick badly in the MLB Draft.

But two teams whiffed on picks where they could have put a star in a pennant winning situation.

Essentially they are the Darko Milicics of baseball.

It is a crapshoot on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 21, 2017

raidersdownload

MLB and their on line production can learn from how Disney and Indiana Jones handled home video .

Hi Ho Hi Ho It is Off To Work We Go in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Miami Marlins Minor League System

Braxton Garrett and Tyler Kolek stand 1-2 at the top of the Marlins’ prospect rankings as potential starting arms in a few years. Unfortunately for the team, the search for a new ace would have been facilitated by the fact that they had both Josh Naylor and Chris Paddack within the system last year. However, the two pitchers were traded away in separate deals with the Padres. The organization is now left with one of the thinnest farm systems in all of baseball.

The upper half of these rankings is luckily filled with arms that may be able to contribute. Garrett and Kolek are the clear favorites, but both are a minimum three seasons away from breaking into the Major League rotation. Players like Dillon Peters, Jarlin Garcia, and Drew Steckenrider will all pitch at the top level this season, but they lack the talent to be long term solutions. Further down in the charts are limited pitching prospects, many of whom have already begun the transition to relief.

Miami’s strength comes in the position players they are currently able to field. However, a number of those players may see their way out of the organization in the next couple of years and the Marlins lack the replacements within their system. Brian Anderson and Isael Soto lead the positional rankings, but there remains a glaring hole in each of their games. Fans looking forward to this season will certainly see Tomas Telis and Yefri Perez work at the Major League level this season. Telis sees a limited ceiling behind J.T. Realmuto, but Giancarlo Stanton’s seasonal injury will likely result in Perez seeing greater opportunity in comparison to previous years.

Miami Marlins Top 25 Prospects in 2017

Spring Training Standouts 2017

Harper, Bryce spring.jpgI can’t say I put a lot of faith in spring training numbers; however there can be indicators for breakouts (Nick Castellanos a year ago), and hell it’s baseball, their fun to take a peak at.  The stats that I tend to focus on for hitting is batting average, hits, home runs, RBI, and strike outs.  For pitchers, I look at strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP for pitchers.  Both WHIP and ERA are questionable to look at, however it can at least be looked at directionally, unless you’re Mike Pelfrey, who had a 1.17 ERA last spring.  Here are the leaders and Tigers notables for games through 3.20.17…

Hitters

Batting Average (Minimum 35 At Bats)
Adam Frazier/PIT – .450
Jose Osuna/PIT – .417
Guillermo Heredia/SEA, Marco Hernandez/BOS – .415
Jose Martinez/STL – .400
Tiger Notables: Andrew Romine .347, Justin Upton .292

Hits
Mitch Haniger/SEA – 19
Adam Frazier/PIT – 18
C.J. Cron/LAA, Corey Dickerson/TB, Brandon Drury/ARZ, Guillermo Heredia/SEA, Marco Hernandez/BOS, Andrew Romine/DET, Bradley Zimmer/CLE – 17

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Nick Castellanos’ Improved Speed Could Lead to a Breakout Season

It appeared as though the Detroit Tigers were going to strip their squad down as much as possible this past winter. And after shipping Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels at nearly the first chance they could, he seemed to just be the first domino to fall.

Until he wasn’t. More or less, he was the only domino to fall.

Despite general manager Al Avila’s strong words and tons of trade rumors, they couldn’t even find someone willing to pay the price for J.D. Martinez, which shouldn’t have been shocking.

Now that Maybin is gone, it leaves a void in the second spot of manager Brad Ausmus’ order. That’s always an important spot, but it’s even more important when it’s followed by hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

J.D. Martinez was reportedly the early favorite to take that spot, but he’d rather hit lower in the lineup. One person who does want to hit second, though, is Nick Castellanos. He’s not a prototypical no. 2 hitter, but he’s the perfect fit for this club.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Team USA Takes Down Team Dominican Republic

teamusa

The elimination game between the United States and the Dominican Republic was filled with thrilling highlights and historic moments. It ended with Team USA defeating the Dominican club by a 6-3 score in the final game of the second round of the World Baseball Classic on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego. With the victory Team USA advances to the Championship round for the first time since 2009. They’ll play Team Japan in the semifinals on Tuesday evening.

Team USA had to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, as the Dominican plated twice in the first frame. The Americans tied the score in the third inning thanks to a scoring grounder from Ian Kinsler, and an RBI double from Christian Yelich. The Americans took the lead in the next inning thanks to a monster two-run home run into the second deck Western Metal Supply Co from Marlin’s slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The Americans added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-run double from Andrew McCutchen that broke open what was a one-run game.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 20, 2017

ALCS+Cleveland+Indians+v+Toronto+Blue+Jays+BXBTl13YcrUl

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America

MLB blackout rules are insane.

But MLB blacking out all of Canada? That is insane.

The great white north is honored in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast -March 19, 2017

C7A7sTuVwAAkYZu

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.

I totally get why these would be considered the Good Old Days.

It is funny when you considered at the time it was consider the End of Days.

Enjoy this nostalgic look on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 18, 2017

02.1993giants

AP

The latest installment of the Teams That Should Have Won is the 1993 San Francisco Giants.

The Giants have had a lot of near misses and a lot of recent titles. But a win in 1993 would have been something really special.

Memories of the Stick in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

San Diego Padres’ Farm System

The San Diego Padres’ farm system has improved in talent over the past year via trades and international signings. The Padres have spent a lot of money internationally to restock their farm system and the dividends will soon be seen in the Major Leagues. San Diego has also managed to flip some of the veterans they got in the offseason a few years ago for quality prospects, such as Anderson Espinoza, and this has really improved the overall quality of the system. Some of these investments are going to make an impact very soon and the Padres’ will hope to be competitive once again within the next couple of years.

San Diego Padres Top Prospects in 2017

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 17, 2017

sunkenDFiamond

Changes are coming to the podcast and I ask you all for suggestions.

But as I look at what I have accomplished with the daily podcast, I wonder something: What have I been talking about?

It is time to reflect on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

The Houston Astros Will Win the World Series

Sports Illustrated said it in 2014 and it might just turn out to be true. The Houston Astros have had 2017 circled on their calendars for a while now and they’ve set themselves up well. Houston enters 2017 with a really good young core of position players supplemented with some strategically placed free agents and trade acquisitions and a pitching staff that certainly has some question marks but has the potential to be excellent.

The Astros seem to following the blueprint of the reigning world champion Chicago Cubs, who built their roster around young hitters like Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras, and supplemented things with pitchers from outside the organization like Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and Aroldis Chapman.

It is, obviously, a good strategy if you can do it right, as well as a relatively new one. For the better part of the last decade, teams like the St. Louis Cardinals have tried to build homegrown pitching staffs and cobble together a lineup from high priced free agents. Only truly deep organizations can do what the Cubs have and what the Astros are attempting.

But Houston is off to a great start. Their lineup is beyond deep and led by some genuine superstars. Their rotation, meanwhile is the wild card. It could be great, it could really hold them back, and either way, I’d be shocked if it didn’t include a very big addition before the team plays on August 1st.

Projected Lineup:

Se the projected lineup and read the rest of this post, with a projected rotation too, over at Off the Bench here.

2017 National League East Preview

The National League East is a mix of the haves and the have-nots, though not to the extreme that was 2016, when 3 of the teams were in the depths of their rebuilds, while two appeared to be blossoming into title contenders. 2017 figures to be a repeat for many of the teams as the biggest offseason deal inched one title contenders closer to the World Series (on paper).

It’s a division that is hallmarked by excellent pitching, though Jose Fernandez‘ flamboyance will be sorely missed. The Mets and Nationals each have a stable of Aces at the major league level, while the Phillies and Marlins have young guys that show serious promise, and the Braves have the most impressive group of pitching prospects that anyone in the game appears to have ever seen. It’s an interesting division that constitutes a cross-section of all that baseball has to offer right now.

The Prediction: 

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. New York Mets
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Miami Marlins
  5. Philadelphia Phillies

It’s the Nationals’ division to lose, really….

Read the rest of this post and see our in depth breakdown of the division at Off the Bench here.

2017 American League West Season Preview

The AL West is one of baseball’s most interesting divisions. It features baseball’s best player, its most talented shortstop and top two second basemen, its batting champ, its least enjoyable team to watch, its second most annoying closer, and King Felix.

For the last two seasons, the West has been won by the Texas Rangers, who ran away with things again in 2016 with an AL best 95 wins. Texas is deep, with a strong lineup, a good, young core, and a solid starting staff, but the rest of the division is doing their best to catch up. Well, except for the A’s.

Seattle finished second in 2016 and made 14 trades this offseason, more than any team ever has in one winter. Houston finished third but made a couple big moves and is right in its window for contention. The Angels still have Mike Trout and no pitching. The A’s have….Khris Davis?

This is going to be a fun division to watch all summer because its likely to be very competitive. Three teams have are going in to 2017 with well founded confidence and I think they’ll be jockeying for first right up until the end.

Prediction:

  1. Houston Astros
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Los Angeles Angels
  5. Oakland A’s

I’m going bold here….

Read the rest of this post, and see our in depth breakdown of the division, at Off the Bench here.

Eric Hosmer Must Stop This Trend to Truly Unlock His Power

The 2017 season is a critical for not only the Kansas City Royals, but also for first baseman Eric Hosmer. It’s his final year prior to hitting free agency, and he’s already built an impressive resume with his seventh big league season on the horizon.

After all, not many players can say that they’ve won three Gold Gloves (in consecutive years), appeared in an All-Star game (and took home MVP honors) and played in two World Series. Oh, and one of those trips to the Fall Classic ended with a bunch of champagne in his eyes.

While Hosmer claims to have never mentioned wanting a 10-year contract, it sounds an awful lot like something his agent, Scott Boras, would be asking for. He’s notoriously been one to set an exorbitant price for his clients, and someone eventually buckles more times than you’d think.

But will an organization buckle for someone like Hosmer? He’s put together a great resume thus far, but the journey into free agency this past winter for two reigning home run champions in Mark Trumbo and Chris Carter showed us that teams aren’t quite valuing players the same anymore.

And honestly, if one concerning trend continues into this season, it’d be surprising if Hosmer gets offered anything close to a 10-year deal.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast -March 16, 2017

Terry+Francona+Joe+Maddon+Boston+Red+Sox+v+MqY3ABue1AGl

Doug Benc/Getty Images North America

What managers are currently worthy of making it to the Hall of Fame? Which managers will get over the hump if they win the 2017 World Series?

It is a resume padding episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

San Francisco Giants: Matt Cain’s Future Uncertain

matt-cain-perfect-game

With everyday that passes, we’re getting closer to the end of Spring Training. That doesn’t just mean that it’s time for the season to start. It also means some big-time decisions need to be made by the San Francisco Giants front office. One of the big decisions is if long tenure pitcher Matt Cain will be breaking camp as a starting pitcher, a reliever or if he even makes the Opening Day Roster at all.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 15, 2017

etick_bostock06_850

AP Photo/Lennox McLendon

What kind of legacy and careers could Lymon Bostock, Jose Fernandez and Nick Adenhart have had if their lives weren’t cut short?

How much of Roberto Clemente’s and Thurman Munson’s beloved status had to do with their untimely deaths?

A what could have been episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: