Posted tagged ‘Nyjer Morgan’

Clearing the Bases: Washington Nationals

December 19, 2009

Within the next couple of years the Nationals have the potential to be a scary team. Last season the team has a few bright spots. Everyone knows that Ryan Zimmerman is a stud at third base. During the season they traded for Nyjer Morgan. This was Nyjer’s first full season in the majors and he performed well at the plate for a CF and he put up some ridiculous numbers defensively. Elijah Dukes had a great 2008, but fell off a cliff in 2009. Hopefully he can rebound. Josh Willingham has quietly put together some very nice seasons. In 2009 he had a .373 wOBA, 129 wRC+, and a 2.3 WAR. Jesus Flores put together a great season in limited time, but that is probably due to his .381 BABIP.

They also have some nice pitching. Jordan Zimmermann’s ERA is deceiving. He posted a 4.63 ERA, but his peripherals were great. He had 9.07 K/9, 2.86 BB/9, 3.17 K/BB, and a 3.59 FIP. It is too bad he will miss 2010 due to injury. In the 2009 Baseball America Prospect Handbook they said “[h]e profiles as a frontline starter – probably a solid No. 2 on a first-division club”. His FIP and K/BB from last season suggest that he is well on his way.

While Zimmermann is a righty with a high ceiling, the Nats also have a lefty with a higher ceiling. According to the 2009 Handbook he “has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the system”. That was before they drafted and signed Stephen Strasburg. Earlier this week Baseball Prospectus came out with their top 20 players for the next decade. They ranked him 8th and had to say this about him, “Sure he’s never pitched an inning in the majors, but if you were setting odds, who would be your pitcher most likely to win three Cy Young awards in the upcoming decade? If Strasburg isn’t among your top three, you are only deluding yourself. On a scouting level, this guy is Tim Lincecum with half a foot more height, a better changeup, and a command that’s a full two grades higher than the Giants’ star.” That is saying A LOT when comparing a guy that has not pitched in A ball to a two-time Cy Young Award winner.

The Nats also have a promising young SS in Ian Desmond. Before the season Baseball America had two SS prospects ranked ahead of him, but after hitting .306/.372/.494/.396 in AA and .354/.428/.461 at AAA he leaped over the competition and earned a September call-up. He should be the starting SS on opening day. The other position players, Christian Guzman and Adam Dunn, are in the last year of their contract and will most likely be used as trade bait before the season is over.

The most intriguing thing about the Washington Nationals is that a year after drafting Stephen Strasburg with the #1 overall pick in the amateur draft they have the #1 pick again and have the opportunity to draft 17-year old Bryce Harper. Bryce is a catcher from Las Vegas who hit a 570-foot HR at the Area Code Games last year and a 502-foot HR at the International Power Showcase at Tropicana Field. He made history when he decided to get his GED after his Sophomore year and attend Southern Nevada Community College. Last season he hit .626/.723/1.339 with 22 2B, 9 3B, 14 HR, 76 R, 55 RBI, 5 SO, and 39 BB in 115 at-bats. If the Nats decide to draft him, and they would be crazy not to, they could be well on their way to winning a World Series in a few years.

Nyjer “Soft Velvet” Morgan

October 9, 2009

After reading the title, you might be asking yourself one of two questions. 1) What the hell is “Soft Velvet. And 2) Who is Nyjer Morgan? If you know the answer to both already, give yourself a pat on the back. If you know the answer to 2, well, who cares because if you read this blog you should know who Nyjer Morgan is.

To answer the questions anyway. “Soft Velvet” is what I call someone with a smooth glove. It is a noun. In the noun form it’s “Atta way to flash the smooth velvet, Nyjer!” or it’s “Smooth Velvet doing work”. As for Nyjer Morgan, he is a center fielder who used to play for the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. Mid-season he was traded to the even lowlier Washington Nationals. So it’s no fault of yours if you have never heard of him before.

But let’s get to the point of the thread. He defines “Smooth Velvet”. The dood can field. In his CF carreer of 781 innings, he has a UZR/150 of 32.9. Holy. Shit. Sure, about 800 innings is a low sample size. But it is safe to say the guy can cover some ground. He has played a grand total of 697 innings in LF with a UZR/150 of 21.2. In 1526 career innings in the OF, he has a total UZR/150 of 27.9. Insane. A sample of over 1500 innings is enough to say the guy is a terrific fielder.

I mean think about, in CF he is worth about 3 wins. He contributes three wins on defense alone. That is cray-zee. Just to be one of the more valuable players in the game, he just has to be decent with the bat. Which he is. For his career he has an OBP of .362 with a career wOBA of .337. If he can just be an average hitter while keeping up his defensive performance, he will be  a very valuable member to the Nationals or any other team he will be on. When looking at his broken down WAR between batting runs and fielding runs, fielding runs take up 84% of the value between the two.

Here are some fun facts. According to WAR, Morgan was the 12th most valuable player with a 4.8 WAR. And among all MLB CF, Morgan is third in WAR behind Franklin Guitierez and Matt Kemp.

Nyjer Morgan, meet the average MLB fan. Average MLB fan, meet Nyjer Morgan.

Nyjer Morgan (Tell Em Man) flashing the smooth velvet and doing work

Nyjer Morgan (Tell 'Em Man) flashing the smooth velvet and doing work

4PARL end of season awards

October 8, 2009

It’s that time of the year again where people start mentioning their official votes for MLB season awards. If we had a vote, this is how it’d go down:

AL MVP:

Disco- Joe Mauer

Bballer- Zack Greinke

Trekker- Joe Mauer

Twaco- Joe Mauer

NL MVP:

Disco- Albert Pujols

Bballer- Albert Pujols

Trekker- Albert Pujols

Twaco- Albert Pujols

AL Cy Young:

Disco- Zack Greinke

Bballer- Zack Greinke

Trekker- Zack Greinke

Twaco- Zack Greinke

NL Cy Young:

Disco- Tim Lincecum

Bballer- Tim Lincecum

Trekker- Chris Carpenter

Twaco- Tim Lincecum

AL Rookie of Year:

Disco- Brett Anderson

Bballer- Elvis Andrus

Trekker- Jeff Niemann

Twaco- Brett Anderson

NL Rookie of Year:

Disco- Andrew McCutchen

Bballer- Garret Jones

Trekker- Andrew McCutchen

Twaco- Andrew McCutchen

AL DHL Delivery Man of Year:

Disco- Mariano Rivera

Bballer- Andrew Bailey

Trekker- Mariano Rivera

Twaco- Mariano Rivera

NL DHL Delivery Man of Year:

Disco- Jon Broxton

Bballer- Jon Broxton

Trekker- Jon Broxton

Twaco- Jon Broxton

Disco’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, JD Drew, Shin-soo Choo; Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Justin Upton

DH- Adam Lind

*Kevin Youkilis deserves props. He split between 1b/3b so I didn’t give him the benefit at 1b or 3b.

Bballer’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Kevin Youkilis; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, JD Drew, Adam Lind; Justin Upton, Jayson Werth, Ryan Braun

DH- Hideki Matsui

Trekker’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, Adam Lind, Shin-Soo Choo; Justin Upton, Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun

DH- Jason Kubel

Twaco’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Kevin Youkilis; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3B- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, Adam Lind, JD Drew; Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn

DH- Hideki Matsui

Disco’s Gold Gloves:

C- Kurt Suzuki; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; James Loney

2b- Chase Utley; Dustin Pedroia

3B- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Troy Tulowitzki

OF- Franklin Guitierez, Ryan Sweeney, David DeJesus; Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Randy Winn

Bballer’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Kevin Youkilis; Adrian Gonzalez

2b- Placido Polanco; Chase Utley

3b- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Jason Bartlett; JJ Hardy

OF- Franklin Guitierez, Carl Crawford, BJ Upton; Mike Cameron, Colby Rasmus, Raul Ibanez

Trekker’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; Adrian Gonzalez

2b- Dustin Pedroia; Chase Utley

3b- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Rafael Furcal

OF- Ichiro, Franklin Guitierez, Carl Crawford; Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Colby Rasmus

Twaco’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; Albert Pujols

2b- Dustin Pedroia; Chase Utley

3B- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Rafael Furcal

OF- Nelson Cruz, Franklin Guitierez, David DeJesus; Justin Upton, Mike Cameron, Raul Ibanez