Daily Archives: February 23, 2017
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.
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.
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
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.