Posted tagged ‘Derek Jeter’

Derek Jeter blasts hit #3000

July 9, 2011

And boy, was it an A-Bomb if I ever saw one. Seriously, I don’t think he’s hit a ball that far, or 400+ feet for that matter, since at least 2009.

In all seriousness though, what a hit, and what a career for Jeter. I do get on his case because of how much the MSM loves him in the present despite his poor play at this stage in his career, but he has been the ultimate professional and I can think of no better athlete to represent the sport and the sports most iconic franchise (run-on sentence over).

Congratulations, Derek. Now if only from here on out you can pretend every at-bat is going to be your 3000th* hit.

*3185 hits really

Sign of the Apocalypse

May 9, 2011

Derek Jeter hit two home runs today. No typo. Not one home run, but two. Two. TWO. 2. Two. Dos. Two.

And Frankie Cervelli not only hit his second career homer, but it was a game changing GRAND SLAM.

Yankees come to terms with Derek Jeter

December 4, 2010

After a month long shouting match, the Yankees and Derek Jeter seemingly got the contract done in a matter of seconds once they actually sat down to talk for real. Jeter will sign for 3/$15-$17mil with a fourth year option that is neither vesting or a club option.

This is an AWESOME deal for the Yanks. Yes, he IS being overpaid. But $15-$17mil per year was as high as the Yankees should have gone. I’m glad Jeter and his agent cooled their expectations of $23mil+. Now the world can carry on.

Robbie Cano knows BOOM!

November 28, 2010

After a stellar MVP-esque season from the New York Yankees star second baseman, Robinson Cano, I am obligated to reflect upon his monster season and look ahead to what we can expect from him in 2011, being that he’s my boy and all.

To many, 2010 was a coming out party for Robbie Cano. While Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter slumped for much of the season, Robbie put the team on his back- especially in the first half- posting a line of .319/.381/.534/.389/145 with a 6.4 fWAR over the span of 160 games and 696 PA. His bWAR was 6.1, giving him an aWAR (average WAR) of 6.3 (after you round up). He set career bests in OBP, SLG, wOBA, wRC+, HR, BB%, and WAR. When award season rolled around, Robbie swept the Gold Glove/Silver Slugger awards, implying he was the best second baseman in baseball this season, and finished third in AL MVP voting. It was quite the season for a kid who not too long ago had a pathetic 0.2 fWAR during a season in which he was benched for a lack of effort.

But was 2010 really a coming out party for Cano? In 2006, his second season in the majors, he posted a 2.9 fWAR in a shortened season, but his WAR/700 was 4.0 on the nose. In 2007 he posted a 4.7 fWAR and in 2009 he had a 4.4 fWAR. So before 2010, he already had great seasons before his 27th birthday. Thus, his 2010 really shouldn’t come as a surprise. He was simply developing. Granted, there was some luck involved, as is always the case when someone has a really good or really bad season. But as he is approaching his theoretical peak years, his true talent level is rising. Which is why with a little fortune on his side, he should have been expected to improve upon his 4-5 WAR seasons.

Moreover, the UZR scale that fangraphs uses hurts him. If one were to look at his bWAR, his career WAR total would jump from 18.7 to 23.9. His WAR totals from 2005-2009 would all increase. In fact, in the three seasons I highlighted in the previous paragraphs, his WAR, in order, would jump to 4.1, 5.6, and 5.1. That’s two near MVP level seasons instead of “simply” great seasons. The reason being defense.

UZR has Cano has a -36.8 fielder over the life of his career. Rally has him as a +31 fielder. I prefer UZR so I put more stock in those numbers, but DSR has him at -3 for his career. They say UZR needs to be paired with your eyes and the last two years, according to the FSR, he has been +13. UZR has him at -3.4 over the past two years and DSR has him at +14. I think it’s safe to say that Robbie has been and is an average-above average fielder, NOT the terrible fielder that UZR thinks he is. So his fWAR actually undermines Robbie’s defensive value, and thus, his overall value. If you to replace UZR with DSR, Robbie’s career WAR would climb from 18.7 to around 22.0. So yeah, Cano is probably even a little better than you would think by looking at his fWAR alone and not analyzing what comprises it. I mean, he has a career 18.7 fWAR which says his defensive value has been -36.8 runs. BUT, 21.5 of those runs are from his rookie season alone, when he was a terrible defender. I’m not saying those defensive runs allowed shouldn’t count, but they greatly skew his current totals, which conceals the fact that Robbie is actually decent fielder now.

That’s enough of a rant for now though. Let’s take a look at how Robbie put together his amazing season. The first thing I want to mention is PLATE DISCIPLINE. While it’s not a high mark, Robbie had a BB% of 8.2%, which was above his career 4.2% BB% entering the season. In fact, of his 186 career BB, 31% are from his 2010 season alone. What’s interesting though is that he didn’t actually seem to improve upon his plate discipline peripherals. His O-Swing% was a career high 36.5% while the rest of his peripherals are in line with his career averages. So this begs the question- what can we expect from Robbie in 2011?

Well, prior to the 2010 season, Robbie mentioned that A-Rod told him to take more “A-swings” in order to really drive the ball. Kevin Long also worked a ton with Robbie doing the “home-run drill” to help him pull the ball and develop, well, home-run power. The result was a career high ISO and SLG. In previous seasons, Robbie would show glimpses of greatness, but was often inconsistent because he would lose focus- whether it be defensively or offensively. That is not to be confused with work ethic. Whenever he slumped, the MSM would claim he was being lazy because of his laid back on-field demeanor. To me though, that’s lazy journalism. Anyone who follows the Yankees knows that, in large part due to Alex Rodriguez and Larry Bowa, Robbie is arguably the hardest working Yankee. He ALWAYS shows up for the optional BP. He gets to the park early, works his butt off in the off-season, and worked on his fielding so much that he went from TERRIBLE to above average with the glove in just a couple seasons.

2010 was the culmination of all his hard work. He finally had a consistent season where he suffered few lapses- defensively and offensively. In past years with the glove, he would go four months without an error and then commit three in a week. That cold stretch never happened this past season. His future success will depend on consistency. Can he keep the focus for another 162 straight games? If so, then we’re looking at an annual MVP candidate who will provide reliable defense and maintain an average BB rate. If not, then we’re looking at a guy who is unpredictable- great defense and hot hitting for weeks or months at a time, but also long stretches of some terrible performance.

Cano’s salary will be $10mil in 2011 and then climb to $14mil in 2012 and $15mil in 2013 if his options are picked up. So he will no longer be a “cheap” player for the Yankees. Considering the rising average age of the team and what that average age will be in 2012-2013, the Yankees need Robinson Cano to maintain his focus and continue to get better. If so, he could emerge as the best player on baseball’s most recognizable team. Hell, he could supplant Chase Utley as the premiere second baseman of baseball. On the other hand, he could become another overpriced good-but-not-great Bronx Bomber.

2011 will be a pivotal year for Robinson Cano if he wants to truly prove his worth. Here’s hoping he goes BOOM.

My take on a Justin Upton trade

November 21, 2010

The biggest rumor swirling around baseball these days is a potential Justin Upton trade. At first it seemed like Arizona was just toying around, but apparently they are serious and a few other teams want to get serious with Arizona. A potential trade of this magnitude has probably never occurred before in baseball  history.

I mean, we have a 23 year old All-Star, with a VERY FAVORABLE contract for the next five seasons, who has HALL OF FAME potential. A player like that isn’t put on the trade market very often. As Dave Cameron wrote back in July, “he’s not a star yet, but not only could he become one, he could be the best player in baseball”. I’d have to agree.

So lets do some calculations!

So for those keeping score, that’s a net value of $104.25mil! No joke. And if you ask me, his WAR estimates might even be a little too conservative. The scary part is that by age 27, he should just be entering his best seasons.

Using Victor Wang’s prospect value chart, we know that a top ten hitting prospect is worth $36.5mil, a top 11-25 hitter is worth $25.1mil, and a top level pitcher is worth about $15mil. So yeah, trading for Upton means trading away any prospect of value in your system.

As a Yankees fan, a trade is intriguing. We’d be getting a potential Hall of Fame, at the ripe age of 23, and chances are he’d be a Yankee for life well beyond 2015. As the Yankees deal with lofty contracts belonging Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, among others, Upton will be relatively cheap. Especially from 2011-2013. Swisher will be gone after 2011 or 2012 anyway, with no internal replacement in sight. Trading for Upton would allow New York to trade Swisher, who could fetch a couple decent prospects which would somewhat “re-stock” the system after a possible Upton trade. But who would the Yankees give up?

The first name to pop up is obviously Jesus Montero. He is the number one positional prospect in baseball and many project his bat to play like Frank Thomas or Manny Ramirez as a catcher, if he can stick there. Would I give up him? Yes, but it would hurt. It would hurt since he is so close to joining the team after so many years of being awesome the minors. I’ve been waiting forever for him to debut. But he is still just potential. He could flop and fail. Upton has succeeded in the ML already and has Hall of Fame potential, as I’ve mentioned. Give me the sure thing. Especially since he would then probably remain a Yankee well past 2015 when his current deal is up.

Who else would the Yankees have to give up? I’d imagine some names would be Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, Manny Banuelos, Hector Noesi, and Ivan Nova. Outside Banuelos, I would give all of them up. Dellin could be a beast, but he does have a poor record of staying healthy and I don’t want to miss out on Upton because of the potential of a health-risk prospect. Despite giving up so many good pitching prospects, the Yankees would still have solid arms in Adam Warren, Jose Ramires, and Graham Stoneburner. Plus, we would still have Austin Romine, who I liken to Kurt Suzuki, and Gary Sanchez. Sanchez may be years away, but he is Montero 2.0 and could make us forget Jesus Montero, even if Montero goes onto a stellar career himself.

So if I’m the Yankees, I would seriously look into Justin Upton. What other team should get in on Upton? The Washington Nationals.

It’s time for winning baseball to return to the nation’s capital. They have a growing core in Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, and Bryce Harper. Trading for Justin Upton would give the team a dynamic group of superstars to build around. Zimmerman is arguably the best third baseman in the game. Upton and Strasburg could become the best in the game at what they do. Many think Harper is a prodigy. Having all four superstars on one team would be insane. The Miami Heat of baseball. Plus, they have the pieces to get a deal done. Derek Norris, Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler, Michael Burgess, Ian Desmond, Drew Storen, and so on. Let Arizona pick from anybody in the organization besides their current big three. I really hope Washington is one of the teams getting serious.

The final question is why is Arizona trading Upton? To be honest, I don’t know. He is the face of franchise and while he would bring back a lot of great prospect, why not just take the production he will give you for a well below market value contract? It’s not like Arizona is a shitty team. In the NL West they could easily compete sometime soon. Moreover, while he should fetch the equivalent of $100mil in value, I don’t think Arizona will get that much in actuality, so I think they will be ripped off. I would keep him, but I don’t know what direction Ken Towers want to take the franchise. So we’ll see how this plays out.

It should be fun.

Yankees trade Juan Miranda for Scott Allen

November 18, 2010

In other news, the Yankees traded 1b Juan Miranda for minor league pitcher Scott Allen.

This news makes me sad, because I love Juan “Man Child” Miranda. But it’s a solid move. I think Juan Miranda could be a useful ML player. Maybe not a starter, because he could get 300-400 PA against righties a year and hit above average with power. But he has no place on the Yankees in the foreseeable future. First base is blocked by Mark Teixeira. DH wouldn’t be an option since the Yankees have a revolving door for old players (Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez) and even some prospects (Jesus Montero).

So the return for Miranda should be small, but the Yankees did a good job on that small return. Scott Hall was a 2009 draft pick in the 11th round, so he’s got some talent. Last season he made 16 starts and threw 78 innings in A ball. He had a 9.12 K/9, 2.54 BB/9, 0.58 HR/9, and a 2.97 FIP. So he has some potential. He gives up a lot of fly balls which could become a problem, but for now, he looks promising. There is a great chance he never throws an inning for the Yankees at the ML level, but his promise is worth trading a 28 year old first baseman who has not future for sure with the Yankees. I mean, the kid isn’t even 20 yet.

Meanwhile, Arizona very well could have gotten a decent starting first baseman, in a hitters park, for a low level prospect. Solid trade all around.

AL Gold Glove winners announced

November 9, 2010

And the players/managers did better than normal.

The obvious complaint is Derek Jeter. We all know that. There cannot be one person who seriously thinks he is better than Alexei Ramirez or Cliff Pennington or Elvis Andrus.

But at least Franklin Guitierrez got some recognition and Tori Hunter was finally dropped. I think F-Guit was recognized more for past years performances and Hunter was only dropped because he moved to right field, a clue to the voters he isn’t that great, but it’s a moot point.

Evan Longoria beating out Adrian Beltre at third is another vote to take note of.

I would have had Brett Gardner in the outfield, but you can’t complain with who was chosen and it makes up for the Yankees having Jeter selected, undeservedly, again.

And my boy Robbie Cano finally wins a Gold Glove. Maybe undeserved, but he was solid defensively and it’s a choice you can’t complain about, like you can with Jeter.

Derek Jeter reaction

September 16, 2010

Unless you live in a cave by now you probably noticed the big sports story of the day is Derek Jeter fake being hit by a pitch, when the pitch really hit his bat.

I just want to say the play is okay. That type of acting is something that is taught in Little League. As a fan and teammate, I would be mad if Jeter or anyone else did not try to act like they got hit. It’s not a “classless” move like some believe.

People such as Rays manager Joe Maddon and former commisioner Fay Vincent both had no problems with Jeter’s acting. However, what if the player under the spotlight was Alex Rodriguez? I believe a fellow blogger (it might have been Joe Poz or someone else) brought up a similar question. Would the move be praised by certain baseball people if it was A-Rod? Or would the reaction be unanimously negative? I for one believe people would hate on A-Rod, bringing up a terrible double standard.

Finally, some people think that by faking being hit by a pitch, Jeter is resorting to a low life tactic in his poor offensive season. Sorry, but that is not a legit train of thought at all. First, the action is not “resorting” to anything. Second, he would have done the same thing in his prime. Why? Because all players would try selling it.

Top 100 players of all-time: 100-91

December 1, 2009

Over the next couple weeks, a guest writer is unveiling his top 100 players of all-time. The writer is a very smart teenager. Yes, teenager. But trust us, he is a credible author on the subject. We’ve known him for a year and he is very eager to learn about baseball and he knows what’s up. So he was challenged to create a top 100 players of all-time list. Here are his results, 91-100. Oh, and he goes by the name “YC”:

Here is my list of the top 100 players. I am going to be explaining myself ten at a time using some key stats from their career.

OBP/SLG/wOBA/WAR will be the format of stats and WHIP/LOB%/FIP/WAR for pitchers.

100. Roberto Alomar
.371/.443/.365/63.6

Alomar was a son of Sandy Alomar who also played in the big leagues. He was a switch hitter and was starting by the age of twenty. Gold Gloves aren’t the best measure of a good defender but he won ten of them. He was a twelve time All-Star too. He was great at getting on base, but it seems his glove was his greatest strength. Alomar was around 200 hits shy of the 3,000 hits club. He was one of the best switch hitters ever. Alomar had ten switch hit home runs same games in his career. This upcoming year he will be eligible to go to the Hall of Fame.

99. Willie Stargell
.360/.529/..387/57.5

Stargell was a great home run hitter. Hitting 475 in his career. He holds the Pirates career home run record and he had the honors of winning the 1979 National League MVP. He is already a Hall of Fame member. Stargell is a seven time all star. He also hit for the cycle once in his career.

98. Carlton Fisk
.341/.457/.354/67.5

Fisk won the rookie of the year award in 1972 (was a unanimous choice) along with his only Gold Glove. Fisk is an 11 time all star for the Red Sox and even has one of their most memorable world series moments. Fisk hit a walk off in the 1976 World Series to win game 6. He is too a Hall of Famer. He compiled 376 career home runs.

97. Ron Santo
.362/.464/.366/66.4

Santo was one of the best players never to make the post-season. Santo won five gold gloves and was a nine-time All-Star. He was a power threat with his 342 career home runs. Four times he hit 30 home runs and batter over .300. It was an era when scoring was suppressed.

96. Carl Hubbell
1.17/72.9 %/3.55/64.4

With an ERA just under 3.00 (2.98) “King Carl” was one of the most dominant pitchers of his era. Hes  a HOF’er and won the World Series once with the New York Giants. Hubbell is a two-time MVP winner and a nine-time all star. He won 253 games with the help of the Giants run support.

95. Robin Roberts
1.17/74.0 %/3.50/80.9

The ace of the “Whiz Kids” in the 50’s Roberts led the Phillies to their first pennant in 35 years in 1950. His control was amazing that he never walked more than 77 batters in any season. All together he walked 902 in his 19 year career. His ERA was 3.41. He is a Hall of Famer and a seven-time all star.

94. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez
.336/.471/.347/66.4

The Pudge of my era was one of the most dominant to ever play the game. His defense was amazing as his 10 gold gloves show. He won the ’99 AL MVP with the Texas Rangers and was a twelve-time All-Star. He wasn’t a bad power hitting catcher as he hit 295 home runs in his career. Pudge also led the 2003 Marlins to their 2nd World Series title.

93. Reggie Jackson
.356/.490/.375/74.4

In the late 70’s the Bronx was burning with the three-way love/hate relationship between Jackson, Martin, and Steinbrenner. Jackson was pretty much surrounded by controversy his entire career. Though no matter what he’s known as a winner. Jackson was a five time World Series Champion. Hes a member of the 500 home runs club. A total of 563. He won the AL MVP in 1973 and hes a two-time WS MVP. Reggie also made the all star team fourteen times. He made the HOF in 1993.

92. Sam Crawford
.362/.452/.384/76.3

Sam Crawford is one of those really old time players. With only 97 career home runs he retired with the most home runs, extra-base hits, total bases, RBI, and triples in the American league. Sam was a good hitter as his average was .309.

91. Derek Jeter

.388/.459/.375/62.2

The Yankees captain is still playing and still deserves to be in the top 100. This season really launched him into it. Hes one of the best post-season hitters ever. He may not be the best defensive player, but he is very athletic. He won the 96′ ROY, 2000 WS MVP, and a three-time GG winner. He is a three-time all star and was close to winning the 2006 MVP. Known for his clutch performances Jeter will forever be a Yankee legend.

AL Gold Glove Winners

November 10, 2009

1B: Teixeira

2B: Polanco

3B: Longoria

SS: Jeter

OF: A. Jones

OF: Ichiro

OF: Hunter

C: Mauer (He’ll win this until hes no longer a catcher, you can write that down)

P: Buehrle

Guitierez doesn’t win. Super Duper Failure on the voters part.

I think Andrus should have been the SS choice for GG, but these choices aren’t “horrible” like some years.