Monthly Archives: February 2017

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 24, 2017

costner459294c34b8dcc83d33defa2000e7a13

Universal Pictures

A lot of people don’t like Field of Dreams. I get it.

I still love it and the reasons why I do reflect that what we love and what we consume, including baseball, do not exist in a vacuum.

No guilty pleasues in this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Jean Segura Isn’t the Only Hitter Fighting Regression Following a Unique Performance

After being a pleasant surprise at the plate for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2013 season, Jean Segura‘s production completely went down the drain — until he got a fresh start in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He didn’t earn an All-Star selection for his efforts, but it was such a unique performance that the Seattle Mariners acquired him in one of the 1,000 trades they made this winter.

How unique was it, exactly? Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto accurately put the middle infielder’s accomplishments into perspective to Bob Dutton of The News Tribune:

“The year that he had is one of just five seasons in this century where a hitter was able to throw out 200 hits, a .300 batting average, 20 home runs, 40 doubles, 30 stolen bases and 100 runs scored.”

Since he literally doubled his wRC+ (63 in ’15 to 126 in ’16), there’s a lot of attention on Segura with his new team. Is this the type of hitter they can expect to see moving forward? Dipoto said himself that given the rarity of this particular performance, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect it to be sustainable.

While Seattle’s new shortstop is one of just five players this century to produce like he did in the above six categories, he wasn’t the only hitter to do it in 2016 — Jose Altuve also accomplished the same feat.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

5 Must Watch Players in Spring Training

Spring Training is finally here! Thank god; I don’t think I, as an individual, nor we, as a nation and a planet, have ever needed baseball more.

But we are not the only ones! Every year, players use Grapefruit and Cactus league games to cement their status as starters, finally earn a trip to the majors, or, in some cases, disrupt the status quo and commute chaos upon fans and front offices.

Of course, Spring Training games are far from predictive of future performance, just look at Jackie Bradley Jr. a few years ago. He tore it up in March and then struggled to hit well enough in his first season in the MLB to justify keeping his stellar glove in the lineup at all. He was eventually sent to the minors and only last year recaptured his starting spot. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn an awful lot from some of these early showcases. The pre-season can help us get an early feel for players poised to bounce back from a tough season, or not, and those who need to justify their team’s (semi-inexplicable) faith in them.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the guys whose spring performance can be particularly instructive about what their 2017 seasons might hold.

Shelby Miller, starting pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks

Talk about a bounce-back candidate.

After an All Star season in Atlanta in 2015 (despite leading the league in losses), Miller was shipped to Arizona in exchange for Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, and others. Then things took a turn.

To continue reading about the must watch players this spring training, please click on oveer to Offthebenchbaseball.com

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 23, 2017

c5ek-zhvcaazaw_

Building up to Oscar season, I watched the only film connected to baseball: Fences.

Besides being a great showcase for two wonderful stars, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, it also allows a supporting cast (especially Stephen Henderson) to shine.

As a baseball fan, it also shows how we use our own experiences to paint how we appreciate the greatness of players in the past and the present.

Yeah it is worth seeing.

Also listen to the great podcast Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period.

It is an honor to be nominated in this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

The Bizarre Ending to Pitching’s Longest Winning Streak

marquard-lede_orig

In addition to winning twenty-six games in 1912, Marquard was unbeatable throughout the campaign’s first three months.  He won an astounding nineteen consecutive games for the Giants from the time he defeated Brooklyn in the opener on April 11 until he beat the Superbas in the first game of a doubleheader on July 3.  Rube was finally vanquished on July 8, during a game at West Side Grounds, which was won by the Chicago Cubs, 7-2.

While the main story line from the afternoon should have revolved around the Cubs ending Marquard’s winning streak, a perceived jinx perpetrated by a demented woman seemed to grab the headlines.  While a large crowd was in attendance watching New York and Chicago battle, much of the attention was directed at a woman perched in a tree outside the ballpark, overlooking the playing field.  READ MORE

MLB’s 10 Best MVP Seasons Since 2000

What makes a player so valuable?

The answer to this question varies depending on the person asked. However, it always becomes a hot-button topic of debate in baseball throughout the latter part of every season when discussing potential National League and American League MVP candidates.

We’re not here to discuss the definition of Most Valuable Player, though. We want to know which players have put together the best overall seasons while earning the award since 2000.

The best way to figure this out is by using Wins Above Replacement (WAR). While the statistics shown below focus on offense, WAR takes a player’s offensive and defensive contributions into consideration before providing an overall value for their performance.

FanGraphs’ version of WAR (referred to here as fWAR) will be the metric used to create our rankings. The definition of “Most Valuable Player” may forever be up for debate, but there’s no debate in figuring out which MVP winners have enjoyed the most success since the turn of the century.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 22, 2017

alcstorontobluejaysvclevelandindiansl7n3yqe5epel

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

I listed my thoughts on the greatest players in each franchise’s history. I realized that Francisco Lindor has the outside chance to become the greatest player in Cleveland Indians history.

It is there for the taking.

It is a legacy episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

CHICAGO CUBS TOP 25 PROSPECTS

This farm system has been built on the backs of Elite position players and the ability of the minor league staff to help them reach their potential. The Major League lineup is one of the most potent in baseball, and there are still prospects who could add more firepower to the order. The up and coming prospects cover a wide range of ages so that the team can be primed to defend their championship this season while also having insurance policies as arbitration years approach shortly.

The top of the list is again loaded with positional talent as Chicago looks to have options in the infield (Happ, Jeimer Candelario) and the outfield (Jimenez, Mark Zagunis, Eddy Martinez). Though there is limited star power, the Cubs starting lineup has enough to hold over the city. More important for the short-term, players such as Victor Caratini and Wladimir Galindo should see extended time on the 25-man roster.

Chicago Cubs Top Prospects

Detroit Tigers Centerfield Options Heading In To Spring Training

tigers-center-field-options

With all other positions pretty stable, there really are only a handful of battles for the Detroit Tigers heading in to spring training.  The 5th rotation spot will be interesting, there will be bullpen spots up for grabs, but I believe the main focus will be Centerfield after the trade of Cameron Maybin to clear some salary from the books.

The centerfield job is pretty much up for grabs as spring games commence later in the week with JaCoby Jones, Tyler Collins, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Gose, David Lough, and Alex Presely all via for the position to name a few.  Mahtook in my opinion has a slight edge; however a lot can change over the next month.  Let’s take a look at some of the options…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 21, 2017

anthonyrizzoworldserieschicagocubsvv-9ic_hf42rl

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America

The Cubs won it all last year. Perhaps you heard. But let’s savor how infrequently a team wins in the year they are SUPPOSED to win!

Perfectly timing titles on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Is Matt Kemp’s Late-Season Revival With the Braves Sustainable?

Matt Kemp isn’t the MVP-caliber ballplayer he used to be with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in his career. Despite that, the Atlanta Braves have high expectations for the right-handed hitting outfielder in 2017.

Those expectations aren’t coming without them getting a glimpse of what he could do for the offense, though.

After the San Diego Padres shipped him to Atlanta at last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline, Kemp was one of the reasons behind the Braves offense going from being historically awful to finishing as a top-performing unit.

His arrival also spurred a personal boost in production — he hit 23 homers in 431 plate appearances with San Diego, but produced just a 102 wRC+. Once the trade took place, that number jumped to 120 in 241 plate appearances (while hitting 12 more homers).

Yes, the Braves are technically still rebuilding, but with a new ballpark opening and their flurry offseason moves, they’re aiming to at least be competitive this year, and Kemp’s performance will play a significant role.

The big question with Spring Training now underway is whether or not his two-month stretch of above-average offensive production is sustainable for an entire season. If it’s going to be, he may need to make a few changes.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Chris Sáenz – A History-making Cup of Coffee

Only four pitchers in baseball history have started only one major league game, thrown six scoreless innings or more, and recorded a win in the process.  Chris Sáenz (pronounced SYNS) of the Milwaukee Brewers is the most recent, and actually the first hurler since 1899 to accomplish the feat.

 

As with most cup of coffee players, a perfect chain of events had to play out for Sáenz to make just one appearance and disappear, never to be heard from again.  The early 2004 season for the Brewers was ripe with issues – enough in fact, for a Double A pitcher to be called up to face the Central Division rival St. Louis Cardinals in late April.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

 

A Vindictive President Destroys a National Institution

ban-johnson_orig

A story of a bombastic, vindictive man who brooked no challenge to his authority, had no tolerance for weakness, and hated whom he saw as “losers.” We’re speaking, of course, of Ban Johnson, founder and president of the American League.  READ MORE AT PLATE COVERAGE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 20, 2017

eisenhower

It is Presidents Day. Will we ever have a baseball player President?

Why not?

Hail to the Chief on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 19, 2017

60559_150993814940974_7386716_n

On Twitter, I posted YouTube clips of the person I declared the best of each franchises. People today call that a GOAT, Greatest of All Time. I am not ready to use that term.

Goat still means something bad to me!

But the reaction I got to the clips inspired The Sunday Request

Try Johnny Bench? Honus Wagner? Wrong? Um, I have given this some thought. I am just trying to get some healthy debate about something that ISN’T politics on line!

Feeling like a goat on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Here are the Tweets with the video clips.

Read the rest of this entry

Atlantis Casino Wagers For 2017 MLB Win Totals

over-under

The old adage here is ‘you want to know the truth, follow the money.

We have been talking projections for win totals in the upcoming MLB Year on a all offseason basis here at the MLB Reports. While we agreed a lot with the fangraphs.com prognostications, we had a problem with Baseball Prospectis’s PECOTA System yet again.

In the 1st total listed below are the official Win/Loss Over/Unders For All 30 MLB Clubs posted by Atlantis Casino.

We have to say that they pretty much mirrored what we have on the board for our projections.

Casino’s have a vested interest since it will cost them serious money if there are poor predictions.

In the last week, we have seen the Royals ink Travis Wood, but more importantly Alex Reyes was lost for the season by the Cardinals due to his upcoming Tommy John Surgery. Read the rest of this entry

Why Pablo Sandoval is in a Position to Succeed With the Boston Red Sox

Once a ballyhooed free agent signing, Pablo Sandoval’s 2016 season with the Boston Red Sox ended after a total of three games and an unacceptable number of trips to the dinner plate. Plagued with shoulder issues and an alarming weight gain, the third baseman barely made it on the field to try and follow up on a miserable 2015 campaign that was his first with the team. Now noticeably slimmer and reportedly healthy, his bid for a comeback is being aided by his team, which has put him in the best possible position to succeed.

READ FULL POST

Randy Levine proves to be classless

Randy Levine Makes All The Wrong Movements Post Betances Arbitration Hearing

The Dutch Baseball Hangout

As you may know, the Yankees and their setup man Dellin Betances were involved in a harsh dispute about the 2017 salary of Betances. Betances was asking $5 million, while the Yankees did not want to spend more than $3 million. During the past weeks, both parties did not get closer to each other. So an arbitration hearing was needed.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Dellin BetancesDellin Betances (photo by Alchetron.com)


The outcome of the arbitration hearing was that the Yankees don’t have to pay Betances $5 million but only the $3 million they wanted. Nothing wrong with that. It is a part of the business. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Setup men, even though they are elite, are simply rewarded less than star closers. And while Betances was lights out as a setup man, he struggled as a closer after the Yankees got rid of Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.

But there is something that…

View original post 251 more words

Who’s in Command Here?!?

halladay-lede_orig

So if pitchers who strike out a lot of batters while walking few tend to be very good, is the converse always true? Are pitchers with lousy K/BB ratios… lousy?

Well, yes.

And no.

It depends.

READ MORE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 18, 2017

4aa08a87a2f29_124126n

The card of the day for Sully Baseball was a Mark Davis Topps Card. I bet you do not know this, but he is a Cy Young winner once traded for a Hall of Famer and another time dealt for an MVP.

I am POSITIVE you didn’t know that.

Pad your resume on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast -February 17, 2017

83-81fr

 

Former Cleveland Indians All Star reliever Sid Monge joins the podcast today.

We talked about his days with the Tribe and the Tigers, his 30 years of coaching and what other sports he could have mastered.

Passing on knowledge with the AL Pitcher of the Month for July, 1979 on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sons of ’84 Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2017

Benintendi, Andrew arms up.jpg

Welcome once again to my favorite blog entry of the year, my Top 100 Major League Baseball Prospect list for 2017. My list consists of the top prospects in baseball right now and doesn’t necessarily focus on player’s impact this season as these players are in various stages of their Minor League and and possibly Major League career.

Team breakouts for players on the list include: 8 – ATL 7 – NYY, 6 – MIL 5 – CWS, LAD, Pit, TB  4 – CHC, Col, Hou, NYM, Oak, Phi, SD 3 – Bos, Cin, Cle, Min, Tor, Was 2 – Sea, Tex 1 – Bal, Det, LAA, MIA, SF

Position breakouts for players on the list look like: C – 5, 1B – 4, 2B – 5, 3B – 4, SS – 12,  OF – 25, LHP – 13, RHP – 32

For the list, you’ll find the player’s name, their position/team/and last year’s ranking for this list…

Continue on to Sons of ’84 to see list

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 16, 2017

jeffreyloriacoloradorockiesvmiamimarlinsnlrf6pm2scol

Marc Serota/Getty Images North America

A few days ago, I thought the Marlins were about to get a normal owner.

Now the Marlins management is somehow mixed up with the Trump Presidency and the French Embassy.

This is bananas.

Florida is nuts again on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Todd Frazier’s Goal for This Season Should Be Pretty Simple

When the Chicago White Sox acquired third baseman Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds last winter, the organization’s goal was to find some lineup protection for first baseman Jose Abreu. Frazier responded with a power surge he hadn’t yet experienced during his young MLB career, but didn’t do much else outside of that, leading to a rather mediocre overall performance at the plate.

Given the lackluster free agent market this winter — especially at third base — one would assume that a player fresh off a 40-homer, 98-RBI season like Frazier would’ve been a hot commodity on the trade market.

That wasn’t the case, though, and the rebuilding White Sox still have him on their roster with the hopes he can improve from the 102 wRC+ and 2.4 fWAR he produced in 2016.

Where exactly can Frazier’s game improve? There’s not always a simple answer to a question like that, but he needs to stop hitting the ball in the air so freakin’ much.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Satchel’s Greatest Trick

paige-lede_orig

To any qualified observer—players, coaches, even the owners who refused to grant him an opportunity to pitch in the majors—Satchel Paige was among the greatest handful of pitchers to ever take a mound. In his youth, Paige dominated with an overpowering fastball and extraordinary control. As the years and miles accumulated, he became the game’s greatest magician, flummoxing hitters with an unending variety of pitches and deliveries. Paige’s wit was a sharp as his control, his personality as big as the break on his curve. He took great pleasure in keeping people guessing, and he took his greatest secret with him to the grave… READ MORE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast -February 15, 2017

alexreyescincinnatiredsvstlouiscardinalsvzcjfxpydmel

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America

Alex Reyes looks like he is going to have Tommy John surgery. These Tommy John surgeries are driving me crazy. Perhaps this is a case for good, clean PEDs.

Get a legal edge on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

2017 Top – 400 Dynasty League Fantasy Baseball Rankings

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-10-57-31-pm

 

Below you will find my personal top-400 dynasty league baseball rankings. In order to be eligible for this list, a player must have over 200 career MLB at bats or 50 innings pitched.

1 = 100

Rank Player Position Team
1 Mike Trout CF,UT LAA
2 Mookie Betts RF,UT BOS
3 Kris Bryant 3B,LF,RF,UT CHC
4 Manny Machado 3B,SS,UT BAL
5 Bryce Harper RF,UT WAS
6 Nolan Arenado 3B,UT COL
7 Clayton Kershaw SP LAD
8 Jose Altuve 2B,UT HOU
9 Paul Goldschmidt 1B,UT ARI
10 Carlos Correa SS,UT HOU
11 Anthony Rizzo 1B,UT CHC
12 Corey Seager SS,UT LAD
13 Trea Turner 2B,CF,UT WAS
14 Francisco Lindor SS,UT CLE
15 Josh Donaldson 3B,UT TOR
16 Madison Bumgarner SP SF
17 Xander Bogaerts SS,UT BOS
18 Noah Syndergaard SP,RP NYM
19 George Springer RF,UT HOU
20 Chris Sale SP BOS
21 Starling Marte LF,CF,UT PIT
22 Max Scherzer SP WAS
23 Freddie Freeman 1B,UT ATL
24 Christian Yelich LF,CF,UT MIA
25 Giancarlo Stanton RF,UT MIA
26 Gregory Polanco LF,RF,UT PIT
27 Charlie Blackmon CF,UT COL
28 Miguel Cabrera 1B,UT DET
29 Corey Kluber SP CLE
30 Jake Arrieta SP CHC
31 Alex Bregman 3B,UT HOU
32 Rougned Odor 2B,UT TEX
33 J.D. Martinez RF,UT DET
34 A.J. Pollock CF,UT ARI
35 Brian Dozier 2B,UT MIN
36 Wil Myers 1B,UT SD
37 Miguel Sano 3B,RF,UT MIN
38 Joey Votto 1B,UT CIN
39 Daniel Murphy 1B,2B,UT WAS
40 Carlos Martinez SP STL
41 Ryan Braun LF,UT MIL
42 Jose Abreu 1B,UT CHW
43 Andrew McCutchen CF,UT PIT
44 Edwin Encarnacion 1B,UT CLE
45 Kyle Schwarber LF,UT CHC
46 Addison Russell SS,UT CHC
47 Jacob deGrom SP NYM
48 Yu Darvish SP TEX
49 Stephen Strasburg SP WAS
50 Robinson Cano 2B,UT SEA
51 Anthony Rendon 3B,UT WAS
52 Jonathan Villar 2B,3B,SS,UT MIL
53 Chris Archer SP TB
54 Yoenis Cespedes LF,CF,UT NYM
55 Buster Posey C,1B,UT SF
56 Carlos Gonzalez RF,UT COL
57 Eric Hosmer 1B,UT KC
58 David Price SP BOS
59 Carlos Carrasco SP CLE
60 Julio Urias SP,RP LAD
61 Jason Kipnis 2B,UT CLE
62 Johnny Cueto SP SF
63 David Dahl LF,UT COL
64 Jonathan Lucroy C,UT TEX
65 Trevor Story SS,UT COL
66 Stephen Piscotty CF,RF,UT STL
67 Kyle Seager 3B,UT SEA
68 Jon Lester SP CHC
69 Hanley Ramirez 1B,UT BOS
70 Justin Upton LF,UT DET
71 Matt Carpenter 1B,2B,3B,UT STL
72 Justin Verlander SP DET
73 Jose Quintana SP CHW
74 Chris Davis 1B,UT BAL
75 Danny Salazar SP CLE
76 Gerrit Cole SP PIT
77 Kyle Hendricks SP,RP CHC
78 Byron Buxton CF,UT MIN
79 Masahiro Tanaka SP NYY
80 Maikel Franco 3B,UT PHI
81 Julio Teheran SP ATL
82 Zach Britton RP BAL
83 Aaron Sanchez SP TOR
84 Gary Sanchez C,UT NYY
85 Michael Brantley LF,UT CLE
86 Jackie Bradley Jr. CF BOS
87 Jean Segura 2B,SS,UT SEA
88 Billy Hamilton CF,UT CIN
89 Kevin Gausman SP BAL
90 Rick Porcello SP BOS
91 Aaron Nola SP PHI
92 Aroldis Chapman RP NYY
93 Jameson Taillon SP PIT
94 Todd Frazier 3B,UT CHW
95 Ian Desmond LF,CF,UT COL
96 Kenley Jansen RP LAD
97 Matt Harvey SP NYM
98 Willson Contreras C,LF,UT CHC
99 J.T. Realmuto C,UT MIA
100 Dee Gordon 2B,UT MIA

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 14, 2017

terrycollinswildcardgamesanfranciscogpzvaa47va9l

Elsa/Getty Images North America

On Valentine’s Day, I take a look at the Mets whose 2017 is totally uncertain and Terry Collins is about to have an unusual title in the team’s history.

Feeling the love on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Chicago White Sox Top Prospects

The state of the Chicago White Sox minor league system has likely never been brighter. With a huge influx of talent like Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning the White Sox have the top prospects to truly build one of the elite pitching staffs in baseball. They also brought in young raw bats such as Luis Alexander Basabe and Yoan Moncada to potentially create franchise caliber talent in the field.

The White Sox also have done a good job of cultivating and developing talent through the draft and foreign signing classes. Alec Hansen looks to offer more promise than people him credit for while the ceiling for Zack Collins has many looking at this organization in awe. There is also an increasing amount of talent in the back end of the farm that offers some of the better upside seen in the league outside of the team’s top ten prospects.

Chicago White Sox Top Prospects

Can These 11 MLB Hitters Continue Making the Most of Their Fly Balls in 2017?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a baseball fan who doesn’t dig watching home runs. If you indeed dig them, the 2016 season was one of the best years to track the long ball in recent memory.

There were 111 different players who reached the 20-homer plateau, which is a new record and a substantial increase to 2015, where only 64 players slugged that many baseballs over the fence. The most beautiful part of it all? Not all 20-plus homer hitters are created equally, which we’ve touched upon a couple of times this winter.

While they can also happen on line drives, the home runs usually result from fly balls. Obviously, for someone to accumulate a lot of round-trippers in any given season, a healthy fly-ball rate (FB%) is necessary.

So, it makes sense as to why 100 of the above players produced a fly-ball rate in 2016 north of 30% (including 53 with a fly-ball rate of at least 40%). That also leaves us with an interesting group who didn’t put the ball in the air as frequently, and they probably wouldn’t mind it happening again in 2017.

Here are the 11 hitters who managed to enter the 20-homer club last year without a fly-ball rate above 30%.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

%d bloggers like this: