By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer) Follow @Nick_Delahanty
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It’s been a while since the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals have found themselves in the American League Championship Series, but the wait for these two fan bases is finally over.
These two teams will open up a best-of-seven series at Camden Yards on Friday night.
Although it isn’t the usual suspects we see in the series (such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox of the world), baseball fans should definitely keep an eye on this series, as two of the hottest teams in baseball will face off to determine who represents the American League in the World Series.
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Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
Workouts for all teams are in full swing and Spring Training games will start this weekend. Baseball season is here. In the past few weeks, I have projected saves and HR leaders for this upcoming season. In this week’s installment of projections, I will predict the SB leaders for the year (in descending order).
1. Mike Trout, 50
Last year, Trout caught the baseball world by storm after being called up nearly a month after the season started. The young superstar stole 49 bases en route to an MVP-like season. If it were not for Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, Trout would have been the MVP. The Angels outfielder stole 49 bases in less than a full season. I believe that Trout will steal roughly the same amount of bases due to the Angels’ acquisition of Josh Hamilton. The Angels will want Trout in scoring position as much as possible. This year, there is no way the Angels will not make the playoffs with Trout, Hamilton, and Albert Pujols.
Mike Trout Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:
Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Sam Evans: Double-A Pensacola shortstop Billy Hamilton is one of the best prospects in baseball. He might be the fastest player in baseball history, and the other areas of his game are steadily improving. Cincinnati is currently in first place in the N.L. Central, and according to Baseball Prospectus’ playoff odds, they have a 97.5% chance of reaching the playoffs. Due to Hamilton’s current level of readiness and potential impact, the effect he will have on fans, and Hamilton’s future development down the road, Cincinnati should not call up Billy Hamilton in 2012.
In eighty-two games in High-A Bakersfield this year, Billy Hamilton hit .323 with a .413 OBP and he stole 104 bases. However, Hamilton was playing in the offense-friendly Cal League, where the average hitter is hitting .273/.342/.424. The Reds eventually promoted Hamilton to Double-A Pensacola, where he has hit .282/.404/.405 with eighteen steals in twenty-two games. Hamilton’s numbers at both levels this year have been tremendous. Billy Hamilton is going to be a superstar, and he might pass Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, in terms of being the fan favorite in Cincy. However, that doesn’t mean he is ready to contribute right away. Read the rest of this entry