Daily Archives: July 4, 2012
Wednesday July 4th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As the All-Star Break is upon us, we begin to reflect on the first half of the season. While there has been some very strong pitching including multiple perfect games and no-hitters, there has been no shortage of the long ball. Here’s my top-ten list of first-half home run hitters:
10. Giancarlo Stanton (19), MIA
The only surprise about having Stanton on this list is why he’s so low. He got off to a pretty slow start but eventually turned it up. Many speculated that the spaciousness of the new Marlins Park would take away some power due to the deep power alleys, but Stanton has proved those speculations false. He hasn’t had a problem launching balls deep over the left field fence and has taken advantage of the away games. Expect this imposing figure to keep up his performance and possibly even reach 40.
9. Robinson Cano (20), NYY
No stranger to this list, Cano also had a slow start but had a ridiculous month of June hitting 12 homers. Cano plays in about the exact opposite environment as Stanton in Yankee Stadium. With a right field porch only 314 feet away, Cano has no problem putting up big numbers. Cano, too, will undoubtedly put up big numbers in the second half.
8. Carlos Beltran (20), STL
Beltran is probably the most surprising member of this list. He seems like he got rejuvenated after signing with the Cardinals this offseason. Beltran got off to a great start this year and has kept up his performance for the most part. He’s done more than enough to fill the gap left by Albert Pujols’ signing with the Angels. I wouldn’t count on Beltran to keep this up due to his age and his past health issues. Cards’ fans should just ride out this wave and hope it keeps rolling into the post season. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday July.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 month. If this report was being done last week I might have put the New York Yankees in 1st and Texas in 2nd. A 7 game winning streak help preserve another month for Texas on the leader-board. There were superior months by Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto , Jason Heyward and a new phenomenon was born with Jose Altuve. It was a great month for the MLB. With 20 teams within 5.5 games or less for the playoff races, we are sure to see some serious movements in the Power Rankings in the 2nd half of the season.
Standings taken before play Tuesday July.03/2012
July Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis
1. Texas-50-30 (1) The Rangers rode a 7 game winning streak to end up 18-8 for the last month. David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus all hit over .300 in the last 30 days. The Rangers were able to weather a slow spurt from Josh Hamilton, in which he hit .222 with only 4 HRs for the month. Matt Harrison has asserted himself as an ace on the staff with a 5-0 month with a 1.29 ERA, while leading the American League with 11 wins on the year. The Rangers have 6 players going to the ALL-Star Game including 3 starters. Yu Darvish can make a 7th if he is voted into the final roster spot with his rookie campaign of 10-5 so far.
2. NY Yankees 48-31(5) The Yankees have ridden good pitching and a hot bat from Robinson Cano to a 19-7 record over the last month, with a 5 games lead over their competition in the AL East. Cano hit .370 with 12 HRs and 24 RBI in the last month. Derek Jeter is hitting .298 overall but saw his average go from .389 in April, to .283 in May to .232 in June. He still tops a list of 4 Yankees heading to the ALL-Star Game including 23 HR homer man Curtis Granderson. Phil Hughes went 5-1 in the month with a 2.59 ERA and Ivan Nova won his 3 decisions with a miniscule 1.32 ERA. Rafael Soriano has converted 18 out of 19 save opportunities since taking over as team closer.
3. San Francisco 45-30 (9) The Giants went 16-11 in the month and saw a perfect game from Matt Cain, with a few other 1 hitters. The team shutout the Dodgers 3 games in a row in a series last week. The Giants have Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera starting in KC next week. The Melkman continues to show that last year was no fluke with his .352 Average and he is leading the Major Leagues with 111 base hits. The Giants pitching staff has coped with the loss of Brian Wilson and the ineffectiveness of starter Tim Lincecum, by the rest of the staff having career years.
4. LA Angels 45-35 (12) The Angels have been really steady since the end of May. They just finished going 17-8 in the last 25 days on the backs of ALL-Stars Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and resurgent Albert Pujols. Trout might be the most exciting player on the planet these days and is a lock for AL Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up. Trout hit .367 over the last month and has taken over the AL batting lead with a .342 AVG. Trumbo hit 10 HRs and drove in 28 RBI for the month and Pujols hit .337. to raise his average 40 points. C.J Wilson was good enough in June to be named as CC Sabathia‘s replacement at the ALL-Star game.
5. Washington 45-32(9) Mike Morse has returned to the lineup with a vengeance during the last week with a .484 average. Super Sub Tyler Moore has also hit .415 in the last 14 games with 4 HRs and 12 RBI. Ian Desmond had 16 Extra base hits for the month to go along with 20 RBI, while he made the ALL-Star game as a reserve. Ryan Zimmerman awoke from a season long slump to plate 17 RBI. Adam LaRoche still contributed 7 HRs and 15 RBI despite a paltry .191 average in June. Stephen Strasburg is 9-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA and a league leading 122 SO. Gio Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. Both Gonzalez and Strasburg made the ALL-Star squad. Read the rest of this entry