All baseball players – whether they’re amateurs or professionals – are creatures of habit. When you have a game to play every day, routines form (some on purpose, some by accident) and once a player notices those routines, they typically like to keep them as they are.
Advanced statistics have helped organizations and coaching staffs justify tinkering lineups on a daily basis, but one thing is for certain – most hitters like coming to the ballpark knowing exactly where their name will be penciled into the order.
It makes mentally preparing a lot easier, and they don’t have to wonder when they’ll get their first plate appearance of the night.
With that in mind, I was curious as to which hitters performed the best in 2016 at each particular lineup spot. The only criteria was sample size – 1-5 hitters needed at least 400 plate appearances to qualify, but it dropped to 250-plus for the six-hole and 200-plus for the bottom-third to generate players to choose from.
Here are your most dominant hitters at each lineup spot from 2016, ranked by wRC+.
WITH RUMORS OF THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS’ INTEREST IN ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, WE POLL OUR READERS: YOU COMFORTABLE MORTGAGING THE FUTURE TO WIN NOW?
So, the Toronto Blue Jays look to be close to doing “something” soon, according to Stephen Brunt, who was on Sportsnet 960 The Fan in Calgary on Tuesday. All of this, of course passed on by Ian Hunter over at Blue Jay Hunter, so a hearty “Thank you” to him for the relay. And, what that something is could be anyone’s guess. But, one idea that has been floated before, and doesn’t seem to want to go away is the idea of trading for Pirates OF, Andrew McCutchen. But, it won’t come cheap: Vladimir Guerrero Jr!
In any trade talks this winter, we knew that it would cost a rather significant chunk of Toronto’s prospect capital. Names like Anthony Alford, Sean Reid-Foley, Conner Greene, and even Rowdy Tellez were among the names we knew would have to be included in any deal of substance. And, some folks would be willing to part with a couple of those names if it means winning in 2017. But this one is a bit jarring.
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MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far
There are certain clubs who have done a nice job improving their clubs year over year, some that have done nicely in maintaining, well, and there are teams that are not looking so hot in 2017.
Let me also qualify this in saying that the Toronto Blue Jays are dangerously close to falling into this pegging themselves. You guys can’t seriously think that you can enter into the 2017 campaign with the Outfield trio of Melvin Upton Jr., Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera can you?
Give Jose Bautista a 1 Year Deal worth $15 MIL – with a 2nd year Team Option of $19.4 MIL – or a Buyout Clause of $2.2 MIL The Player could also opt out if he wants to after 2017. You may risk losing a Draft Pick at all with the way this is going Toronto.
With the 1st ED pick attached to Joey Bats. and the looming future QO’s never receiving as much again, how could a team justify losing that high of Amateur Draft Selection for an aging 36 year old slugger.
Here is the thing though Blue Jays brass: You need him..Both at the turnstiles and in the lineup. He doesn’t cost you anything but money – and the guy still carried out a .815 OPS despite a rough down year.
With a chip on his shoulder, I think he will bounce back big time. You can defensive replace him every night if you wish, or use Kendrys Morales at First, and let Justin Smoak ride pine for some DH AB to open up for Bautista.
Losing Edwin Encarnacion, Bautista and Michael Saunders is not made up by Morales and Steve Pearce fellas! You drew 3.4 Million Fans in 2016. Toronto will keep the faith if you bring back #19 for one more year. Read the rest of this entry
I have been preaching the Mariners as a bet for a couple of months now. I was able to grab them at +2800 for a $50 bet already, and this was my 2nd bet to the $100 I plunked down on the Nationals at +1200.
Jerry DiPoto has been wheeling and dealing to the tune of 11 trades already this offseason.
With the exception of the Outfield not possessing not much power (but a ton of speed that could round out the bottom of the order with SB), and the First Base position being manned by unproven commodities, the rest of the roster is pretty solid.
We noted that the Mariners threesome of Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Jean Segura combined for 99 HRs and then the prime DH Nelson Cruz clubbed 43 Bolts. These guys will make up enough power to compensate for that.
I believe that James Paxton may also see a breakout season similar to what Danny Duffy did for the Kansas City Royals in 2916. The LHP can reach 98 – 99 MPH on his fastball, and he has great movement.
The Relief Core has also been added to with great numbers. Seattle’s brass has definitely robbed the Minor League System, yet this is the window of winning.
Houston deserves to be slightly favored in the AL West with the rosters as currently constructed – however if the Mariners pick up another big bat then I would give the nod to them as the Division favorite. Read the rest of this entry
Spent a great few days with my dad, but we both wished there was a baseball game on.
Baseball acts as a constant friend who is reliable. For me, it is an indicator that things are going to be ok.
Fill the gaps in life on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
The city of San Diego is now a one team city. The Padres have the city to themselves. Fans need to support them like never before.
It is a Gaslamp episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
As the baseball season quickly approaches, it’s time to take a look at the top-100 prospects for 2017. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to follow and tweet me @dynasty_digest. You can also find more of my articles at www.dynastydigest.sportsblogs.com.
The Blue Jays system is mostly made up of high upside hitters but, like always, the Jays have been stockpiling pitching in the draft to compensate. With these new draftees, the organization is trending up compared to how barren it was after the Jays first postseason run. There is tremendous upside in picks like T.J. Zeuch, J.B. Woodman, and Joshua Palacios just in the 2016 MLB Draft. Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette are two young talents that look like they could shine in the spotlight as stars. They also have bloodlines of former greats, which has proven to be a characteristic the Jays tend to take a chance on. The pitching doesn’t have the same talent as it did when “The Lansing Three” were storming their way up the system, but pitchers like Justin Maese and Angel Perdomo could develop into a top of the rotation starters. Overall, the system has enough upside talent to use as trade bait and still have an upper half ranking system.
It has been an incredible 6 years run for the MLB Reports but 2017 is going to redefine us as a major entity in the blogging landscape. We are heading to a new platform pretty soon to better serve our readers, and to also enable us to expand to the content we need to post on a daily basis.
Coming off the heels of our greatest ever season in 2016, we are ramping up production to new levels.
Our track record has been quite impressive since the inception, and we are hoping to keep up the momentum for our readers in the upcoming seasons. We have no filters, extremely strong opinions, and if we aren’t pissing plenty of people off at any given time – then we are not doing our jobs correctly.
Our Motto ‘The Truth Stings Like A Cactus! Baseball Is Our Religion, Come for worship anytime.”
Hunter Stokes (our Chief Writer and Gambling Expert) has pledged to work for us full time. He will be doing Daily Fantasy Rosters for FanDuel all year based on his successful indoctrination to the world last year. In addition to that, he will continue his outstanding best value picks for Sports Handicapping.
This means Player Prop Bets, Odds to Win the World Series, MLB Divisions, Pennants and Home Run Derby posts. His track record has been elite to say the least, and we have all profited off his blogs.
Hunter will also be in charge of all the MLB Team Power Rankings and many more posts.
I, Chuck Booth. will also be able to write full time this next year – which means I am going to be in charge of updating all of our mainstay pages: MLB Interleague, Tommy John Surgery, and I am coming back strong with a new emphasis on MLB Team Payrolls that is unique to the industry. Before the year is over, no one will have finer coverage of MLB Team Salary Analysis than we will.
Our Lead Baseball Analyst (Trey Rose) is going to contribute daily (DFS) MLB Draft Kings rosters during the regular seasons. along with a ton of baseball rankings when it comes to fantasy baseball. Trey is an uprising writing talent that will not be denied.
Sully Baseball has continued his streak of running a podcast every day since Oct. 24/2012 – and 2017 he will not be slowing down anytime soon. We are pleased to have Sully back for another year of his 20 minute a day show!!
In March, we are coming back with our award winning (MLB Team Appreciation Days, where we preview your clubs, and also hammer out the payroll for each team).
This is not all….We have several many other BBBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) contributors to the site that will be posting their great work with our site to show the public as well.
250 writers have posted at least one article with us.. We are in the Millions of views now in our 6000+ Blogs. Many thanks to all of the people who have contributed to our little place on the web. Here is to many more years of baseball coverage!
Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner)
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015. It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews
To Subscribe and listen daily to ‘Our Lead Personality’ Sully’s 20 Minutes Daily (every day since Oct.24, 2012) Podcast click here. Guaranteed listening to the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast will be the best time you invest in online!
As usual with my mid-winter grades, I won’t offer any score for first time managers, but if a guy has managed elsewhere in the majors he’s fair game, even if this will be the first season with his current team.
Let’s get to it!
American League East
John Farrell, Boston Red Sox: First to worst and back again. And again. And again. Farrell’s Boston teams seem to be either really good or really bad, and that doesn’t reflect too well on the manger. Seems to me, a well run team filled with talented veterans should be able to do a better job of consistently competing. 2017 will be a big challenge for Farrell for many reasons. First, he’ll be trying to string together back to back good seasons, but beyond that, the Red Sox are now so loaded with talent that expectations are going to be sky high. As we’ve seen in baseball many times before (e.g. 2012 Miami Marlins) super teams on paper don’t always pan out. Let’s see if Farrell can get all the parts to mesh. Grade: B
After the ugliness of what is the history of Tigers playing third base, we move to what I am guessing is an easier decision with the Shortstop position. If you missed the greatest Tigers catcher, first baseman, second baseman, or third base, you can catch up at any point by clicking on the hyperlinks.
Again, the only qualifier in my process for determining the best positional Detroit Tiger is that they played at least five years as a Tiger with a majority of their games at that position. Qualifying for shortstop is Alan Trammell, Donie Bush, Billy Rogell, Harvey Kuenn, and (ahem) Deivi Cruz. We boot Deivi to start with his 6.0 WAR as a Tiger.
Here we go in chronological order of when the player was in Detroit…
No league in any major sport enjoys a similar position to MLB either domestically or internationally. While the NFL and the National Basketball Association (NBA) are extremely popular multi-billion-dollar industries with lucrative contracts for players largely funded by cable providers and strong Internet strategies, they do not monopolize all of organized football and basketball in the United States the way MLB does for baseball. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) enjoys a close relationship with the NFL and the NBA, but it is independent of those professional organizations. Although college basketball and football function essentially as minor leagues for the NBA and the NFL, respectively, they are not affiliated with those professional leagues… (READ THE FULL STORY ON PLATECOVERAGE.COM)
There are no Colorado Rockies in the Hall of Fame. I suggested they trade for Ichiro Suzuki to ensure one player will have worn the CR on their hat and made it to Cooperstown.
But Larry Walker and Todd Helton might put a beloved Rockie in the Hall.
It is a Rocky Mountain High episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
JAYS FROM THE COUCH LOOKS AT THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS ABILITY TO MAKE UP FOR LOST HR POWER WITH RUN PREVENTION IN 2017
The long and short of it is that teams can make up 20 HR in today’s game rather
cheaply easily, so paying through the teeth for 35 HR doesn’t make much sense. Why pay so much more for what is only a small increase in the long ball. Guys who hit that many home runs have to be able to offer another skill set in order to be perceived as having value these days. The most obvious of those skill sets comes on the other side of the ball- defense.
Specifically, we are starting to see executives put more value on run prevention. If you can prevent a few more runs in a season, you don’t need to see as many leave the park. It is a logical approach- one that seems to be taking hold across baseball. This ‘renaissance’, if you will, is due to the advanced metrics, etc that teams pay lots of money for and keep close to their vests. Everyone has their system.
All of the above got me thinking about how the Toronto Blue Jays will look in 2017…
READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch
After ending their excruciating rebuilding process a year earlier than many expected with a playoff appearance in 2015, the Houston Astros were supposed to take another step forward in 2016, but it didn’t happen.
Jose Altuve put together an MVP-caliber performance, but Houston experienced regression from some of its young core and ultimately couldn’t overcome a 7-17 start. Their 4-15 record against the Texas Rangers didn’t help, either.
One of those young players who experienced a bumpy year was shortstop Carlos Correa.
Now, it’s tough to say a player who posted a 122 wRC+ and a 4.9 fWAR had a bad year, and Correa didn’t have a bad year – it just wasn’t what the organization was likely hoping for.
After an active offseason (which still may not be finished), expectations are high for the Astros to return to October. There are plenty of important offensive contributors on the roster, but Correa just may be the most important of all.
I would like to see a Padres and A’s World Series. Do you know why? Because California is filled with all sorts of regional insecurities and this would be a great face off for two cities with an inferiority complex.
It is a World Series about Identities with a West Coast Bias episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
For those of you who do not know what the Suffering Index is, here is my explanation.
The system offers a handful of true prospects that could make a difference at the Major League level this season, but also hold higher potential down the road. The list is headed by Brent Honeywell who could find his way into the middle of the rotation in the next couple of years. The young bats that follow Honeywell all offer a strong foundation. Willy Adames, Jake Bauers, Garrett Whitley, and Joshua Lowe all have their flaws but have shown enough promise real improvement in the next couple of years.
Now that we are in a new year, spring training is right around the corner. The Boston Red Sox made some big moves this offseason but like all teams can never count on what will happen with injuries, player production and other factors that will impact their success in 2017. Although their roster is packed with stars they invite a number of non-roster players to camp each spring. While most end up being warm bodies, they are all worth a look and sometimes end up getting big league time before the year is over. Here is a look at the non-roster invites the Red Sox have lined up so far for this year.
It is Sunday and time for THE SUNDAY REQUEST.
— theSTLpoke (@theSTLpoke) January 5, 2017
That’s right folks, we live in a world where Golf knows how to play to a young audience better than BASEBALL!
Tee off on line for this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
FANS OF THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS SHOULD BRACE THEMSELVES FOR THE JANUARY SIGNINGS THAT WILL LIKELY HAPPEN AS MILB DEALS WILL BE HANDED OUT
Oh, man! The fans are restless. There is much disappointment to be found in the land of the Toronto Blue Jays. Things have not gone as hoped this offseason, and the club is left with some major holes to fill. The options available has changed dramatically from when this offseason began and it has taken its toll on those who were pining for big moves. It has caused many to wonder if there is any hope of contending in the AL East in 2017, the dreams of postseason glory fading rather quickly.
The signings of Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce (Hey! Don’t forget about Gavin Floyd!) have not done enough to alleviate the rage over losing out on Edwin Encarnacion and the potential of losing out on Jose Bautista. Those are holes too big to fill the way the club has tried to. That is not even mentioning the chasm that exists in the Toronto’s bullpen. Simply, many feel that, through their offseason efforts, the club has actually made the team less competitive. Rightly, or wrongly, there is a lot of disappointment.
That is why January is not going to make things any better. Not. One. Bit…
READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch
Bud Selig’s successor, Rob Manfred, will almost certainly continue to report on the financial health of baseball. While these reports may be factual, they do not quite represent the entire truth.
Part Two of our extended excerpt of “The Selig Years” from Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball, by Lincoln A. Mitchell. (READ THE FULL STORY ON PLATE COVERAGE)
The football playoffs are starting and there are some playoff teams who do not have a single player I can name.
But I always watch the NFL in January and I do so through a baseball prism.
Thinking of the Boys of Summer in the Dead of Winter on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
For those of you who do not know what the Suffering Index is, here is my explanation.
Pitcher Bob Humphreys‘ input was extremely important as I started doing research for my Milwaukee Brewers historical book, so I decided to create a full-length profile for him.
Humphreys was born in Covington, Virginia on August 18, 1935. He loved baseball and basketball, playing both sports in high school and Hampden-Sydney College. He lettered in both sports in college, but decided to pursue baseball as a career.
IF THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS ARE GOING TO SUCCEED IN 2017, A HEALTHY RETURN FROM DEVON TRAVIS WILL BE THE REASON
The staff here at Jays From the Couch will be able to have their own selection for the player they think will be the key to the Blue Jays’ 2017 success. Likely, they will not share my enthusiasm for the importance of Travis. I’ll also acknowledge that as readers (and fans) you will likely have your own ideas as to who will be of importance moving forward. Feel free to share those thoughts in the comment section and look out for future posts to see if our staff chose the same player(s).
OK, so Devon Travis. Here’s the thing: it’s rather difficult to pinpoint exactly what the Blue Jays will see from him in 2017. In his 2 years of big league ball, he’s really only played one season. After missing 100 games in 2015, he would turn around and miss 61 contests in the last campaign. Missing this kind of time tends to paint a picture of being prone to injuries. But, we can’t say that about Travis. The injuries he suffered were caused by unusual anatomical issues that he really couldn’t do anything about. I mean, he couldn’t avoid having bones grow weirdly in his shoulder, especially when he only noticed it after taking a groundball off the shoulder. No, the type of injuries he has dealt with make him a special case; one exempt from the injury prone label…for now. It is for that reason that any further conversation comes with the qualifier of him being healthy. This goes without saying…
READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch
According to Earl Wilson, the game of baseball is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings. Regardless of the team you root for, just about every fan can relate to that in some way.
While it takes a full nine innings – or, nine nervous breakdowns – for a game to be complete without suboptimal weather sabotaging it, there are countless moments within each inning that can alter the eventual outcome, whether it’s in the top of the first or bottom of the ninth.
With that in mind, I was interested in finding out which hitters mashed the most in each inning throughout the course of 2016. Thanks to FanGraphs’ Splits Leaderboard, it was pretty easy to do.
Using the very arbitrary benchmark of 80-plus plate appearances for the first through sixth innings, 50-plus plate appearances for the seventh through ninth innings and 20-plus plate appearances for extras, below are the top three hitters from every inning in 2016, based off wRC+.
There is lots of bad to talk about in this failed family picture whose director would go on to make Friday the 13th… no really.
Ripping off the great ones on episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
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THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS ARE BRINGING BACK GAVIN FLOYD ON A MINOR LEAGUE DEAL, HOPING HE CAN CONTRIBUTE IN 2017
While much of the Blue Jays fan base reacts to the Cleveland Indians press conference introducing ex-Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays front office snuck an old friend back into the organization today on a minor-league deal. Gavin Floyd will be returning to the Blue Jays with an invite to Spring Training and as it stands right now – a likely spot on the roster come April.
Floyd pitched well in 2016 and posted decent numbers aside from a few blow-ups. In April he posted a 1.74 ERA over 10.1 innings, recovering from a rough start and eventually posting eight strikeouts to three walks and four hits for the rest of the month. In May he battled with the long ball, giving up four dingers in just 12.2 IP, but still maintaining a K/9 over 9.00…
READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch
Pitching and rolling strikes on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
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“The Selig Years” from Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball by Lincoln A. Mitchell. Used by permission of Temple University Press. © 2017 by Lincoln A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.
In January 2015, Bud Selig stepped down as commissioner of baseball. He had served in that position since September 1992, although for the first six of those years, he had been acting commissioner. Selig’s tenure of slightly more than twenty-two years was the second longest in baseball history. Only Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) first commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, served longer.
When Selig took over as commissioner, there were twenty-six Major League teams. To make the play-offs, teams had to win one of the four divisions, as there were no wild cards. There was no interleague play during the regular season, and steroid use was extremely rare and almost never discussed. (READ THE FULL STORY ON PLATE COVERAGE)
Curt Schilling and I may not see eye to eye on many things. But I do think his Hall of Fame candidacy should be debated and his politics should stay out of it.
Opinions versus stats are debated on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.