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Daily Archives: July 12, 2016

Who Owned Baseball July 12, 2016 – All Star Game Edition (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

MLB: All Star Game

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

Eric Hosmer hit a solo homer and an RBI single to propel the American League to a 4-2 victory in the All Star Game.

Will Harris got a key strikeout with the bases loaded to preserve the American League’s 4-2 advantage in the All Star Game.

They Both Owned The 2016 All Star Game.

And earning 1/2 WOBs are:

Daniel Murphy got a pair of hits and made a key defensive play in the National League’s 4-2 loss in the All Star Game.

Kenley Jansen struck out the only batter he faced on 3 pitches in the National League’s 4-2 defeat in the All Star Game.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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RUMORS: Houston Astros To Call Up Top Prospect, Alex Bregman

Following a very impressive appearance in the the MLB Futures Game, Houston Astros’ top prospect, Alex Bregman, could find himself back in a Major League Baseball stadium very soon. There has been rumors and reports that the Astros could call up Bregman as early as this weekend. While nothing has been confirmed, this is very exciting news for baseball fans and fantasy owners.

 

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Trademas In July: A look at the potential market for Jon Niese

The Pittsburgh Pirates are shopping Jon Niese, but that may prove to be a difficult task. Our Trademas In July series kicks off with a look at the market for his services.

You hear it all the time when you speak to Pittsburgh Pirates fans who happen to be fathers. When they tell you that their young child is taking up baseball, the standard retort is always heard.

“Make him into a left handed pitcher!”

Indeed, left handed pitchers – both starters and bullpen arms – have always been a hot commodity for Major League Baseball clubs this time of year. The Pirates found themselves at the start of 2016 with not one, not two, but three left-handers in their rotation.

Now, after clawing their way back into postseason contention after a legendary June swoon, the club might have the opportunity to spin one of those left handers to fill other team needs. Those needs are debatable and ever-changing, but for now let’s focus on gauging the market for one Jon Niese.

Pirates are shopping, but is anyone buying?

Niese came to the Pirates billed as an average mid-level starter whose value gets boosted by a solid ground ball rate. Niese has made good on that bill of sale, as his 53.3 percent ground ball rate leads all Pittsburgh starters. Of course, Neal Huntington likely did not expect to be saddled with a ballooned HR/9 rate of 1.8. That figure represents more than double his home run rate for the three previous years combined (0.8).

The home runs Niese has allowed have been many and varied, but it’s not just the long ball that is leading him to an ERA of 5.13 and a FIP of 5.49. Averaging 11 hits per nine innings doesn’t help, and his walks per nine of 3.2 is an increase over the past two years as well.

Back all of this up with strikeout ability that is average at best (Niese has the lowest swinging strike percentage – 7.2 percent – of any Pirates starter with a minimum of 50 IP), and you have to start to wonder if being a left-handed pitcher with controllable years is enough to cover all of these warts.

Finding a potential fit

Nevertheless, the Pittsburgh Pirates are shopping Niese, and despite his foibles, there may yet be a market for him. His contract – Niese is owed $10 million in 2017 and $11 million in 2018 – is attractive due to the twin $500,000 buyouts tagged to each year. In this way, Niese could serve as a bridge for a team with big plans on the 2018 free agent pitching market. By most reports, the 2017 market is weak. Teams may be looking for a stop gap that can be easily shuffled off.

Due to the second wild card, at least 19 teams are expected to buyers to some degree in 2016. By virtue of this, the Pirates can scratch off the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets and Cardinals as potential dance partners. This leaves the pool a little lean, and may force the club to look to the American League for someone to bite on Niese’s services.

The prospect of Niese pitching in the junior circuit may seem ill-advised on the surface, but the wild card picture in the AL is even more jumbled than the NL. Six teams are within 5.5 games of the wild card, leaving only four teams that are truly out of the picture.

A better option even at an advanced age

Of course, chief among the many reasons teams might be reluctant to grab Niese is the abundance of flat-out better options. If we assume that teams would be interested in Niese chiefly from the combination of the flexbility of his contract combined with his left-handedness, teams may prefer to prioritize one of those factors over the other.

If other GMs take that route, Rich Hill immediately jumps to mind. Hill has resurrected his career at the age of 36 after some hard-luck years plagued by injury. We have previously wondered if he’d be a fit for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and with good reason: he comes very cheap. Making $6 million for 2016, Hill’s contract is eerily similar to J.A. Happ‘s 2015 salary of $6.7 million, which Huntington did not balk at.

By all accounts, the Oakland Athletics need to restock at key positions, and it might take a mid-level prospect not named Reese McGuire or Kevin Newman to part with him. But, don’t be surprised if Billy Beane woudl take Niese in a deal such as this. Beane has shown to make “baseball trades” at the past few years – think of Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester – and would need someone to eat innings before his own prospects are ready. This is where Niese’s contract could play a big role.

Whether the Pirates end up with Hill’s services or not, he represents a much better value over Niese.

A higher ceiling lurking in Tampa and elsewhere

Matt Moore is another controllable left-hander that could fetch better interest than Niese. Though Moore has had some struggles of his own, he has a bit more strikeout ability than Niese while allowing nearly the same amount of HR/9 at 1.1. However, Moore has shown considerably better flashes than Niese, including an All-Star 2013 that saw him post a 17-4 record with a 3.29 ERA/3.95 FIP in 27 starts.

Moore’s contract also contains multiple team options, but that is about where the similarities end.

Matt-Moore-Contract-2

Though the buyouts are more significant, teams may not balk at those if they believe they would have a better return.

There are a myriad of other options as well, perhaps none of which is a hotter name than the Padres’ Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz has been a steady performer for the past several years, but has increased his strikeout rate to 10.1 in 2016. This newfound swing-and-miss ability has put his name on the lips of many this trade season. He, too, comes with three years of control, as he will hit his first round of arbitration after this year.

Conclusions

Though many teams can always use a starting pitcher at the deadline, the market for Niese is likely to cannibalize itself. Normally, a left-handed controllable pitcher would be in high demand, but as we see here, there are better options for a team looking for a rental, and better options for a team looking for someone with control. Niese thus falls into a strange limbo in between these two approaches.

Though the Pittsburgh Pirates may hope to salvage something from Niese, the reality of the market may have other ideas.

Read more on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Pirates Breakdown.

Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings Analysis (61-70)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 71-80 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 71-80

  1. Kyle Lewis (SEA, 20 Years Old, OF): Kyle Lewis was drafted 11th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2016 MLB Draft. Lewis went to a small college named Mercer University, but nothing about Lewis is small. He puts up HUGE numbers at the plate, he is a massive human being, and he is going to be a big-time prospect. He stands 6’4 and weighs about 210 pounds. He currently plays centerfield, but as he fills out, he is expected to play one of the corner spots in the outfield. In his last season at Mercer, Lewis hit .395, with 20 home runs, 72 RBIs, and a .525 OBP. In his short time in the minors, he hasn’t been overmatched at all, which is a great sign. Lewis has immense potential and could be a serious home run threat down the line.

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For Whatever League Wins The 2016 ALL – Star Game: Chances Are Home Field Wont Matter In The World Series Because Of The Dumb 2 – 3 – 2 Format

Chances are that whichever League wins this game tonight will actually plays less games at home in the World Series is more likely to happen, than a 7 game set in the World Series.

Chances are that whichever League wins this game tonight will actually plays less games at home in the World Series, as a 5 games Fall Classic  is more likely to happen, than a 7 game set in the World Series.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

Yeah I said it… and fully mean it.  This is my annual gripe of how the ALL – Star Game winner will likely not play more games at their home park because of the 2 – 3 – 2 format.  I am sure that a lot of people hate the fact the Midsummer Classic even determines home field advantage.

I actually don’t think the game meaning something is a bad idea.  I guess no one remembers that drab games we suffered from about 1995 – 2002 – where more players would exit the game and hop on a pending flight, than actually stayed?

For the most part,  the MLB has made nice changes to the ALL – Star Game.  Having the fans only vote on the starters, the players on the reserves, with the managers picking their pitchers.  I also like that Catchers can reenter the contest. 

As for the league winner of this game and home field advantage for the Fall Classic. You are way more likely to a series go 5 games as opposed to 7.  It also baffles me how the team with a home field advantage for a series ever trails in games played at their venue.  There will be another follow up article near the playoffs in pertaining to this article.

The MLB should use a 3 – 3 – 1 format instead of the 2 – 3 – 2 as a counter, for this would be ideal to clone what clubs go through in the regular season.  Series of 3 are perfect.  I understand it is too hard with travel, to use the best series setup of 2 – 2 – 1 – 1 – 1. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 12, 2016

 

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Harry How/Getty Images North America

I have a few Home Run Derby thoughts. Then I address a question from super fan Cubs Fan with an 8 about Bryce Harper‘s lack of a cute and cuddly nature.

It is a brown and yellow uniform episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Giancarlo Stanton and Todd Frazier both added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

Follow Cubs Fan with an 8 on Twitter by clicking HERE.

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Who Owned Baseball July 11, 2016 – Home Run Derby Edition (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Photo: Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports

Giancarlo Stanton won the Home Run Derby, launching 61 in total and winning the final round, 20-13. He earned a fill WOB.

Todd Frazier finished second in the Home Run Derby with 42 homers over all. He earned 1/2 a WOB.

They Both Owned The 2016 Home Run Derby

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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