Posted tagged ‘Ryan Braun’

Handicapping the Awards – NL MVP Edition

July 26, 2011

Here we go, last of the award predictions.

The favorite

Jose Reyes – SS – New York Mets (5.5 WAR)

Considering he’s “only” played 87 games, I didn’t feel comfortable going with Reyes at first, but he’s clearly shown he’s been the best player in the NL this season, and despite playing in fewer games than other contender, he still has a nice lead in the WAR category. Reyes has an amazingly low 7% K rate and his .404 wOBA and 160 wRC+ are fantastic numbers for a shortstop. If the Mets trade him, whatever team that gets him will be adding an MVP for the stretch run.

The contenders

Andrew McCutchen – OF – Pittsburgh Pirates (4.9 WAR)

The Pirates are contending for the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades, and leading the ship is young buc Andrew McCutchen (and that’s enough of the puns). Despite almost being snubbed for the All-Star game, McCutchen has shown he is arguably the best centerfielder in the game, or at least the NL. He has been a good fielder this season, gets on base, and hits for power. If the Pirates do win their division, he very well could emerge as the MVP.

Justin Upton – OF – (4.7 WAR)

Last season many were expecting superstar Justin Upton to break out. Unfortunately, that breakout was put on hold until this season. Upton figures to achieve a WAMVP (6.0+) and he has been a monster in leading the underdog D-Backs to a winning record thus far. Not only has he been a great fielder, but he can mash with a .392 wOBA and 144 wRC+. He may not win the award this season, but I would guess he’ll win a few in the future.

Shane Victorino – OF – (4.5 WAR)

So far the race continues to be mainly about the outfielders. Shane Victorino has been a tank this season and would probably be higher on my list if he had not missed so many games thus far. As of now, his WAR/700 is 9.6. Yeah, 9.6. Between superb defense and a 150 wRC+, Victorino has clearly been the Phillies most valuable everyday player and that could very well earn him an MVP award  if he stays strong the rest of the season.

Matt Kemp – OF – Los Angeles Dodgers (4.8 WAR)

Kemp would have been higher on my list if not for a brutal past month. But despite that month, he still has put off unworldly numbers. His line is .311/.392/.572/.419/170+. The Dodgers organization might be having a long season, but Kemp is a been a bright spot. His 2010 season was horrible, but as bad as it was, that’s how good this season has been. If he picks up his first half pace, he’ll have a legitimate chance to challenge the front runner, Jose Reyes.

The long shots

Matt Holliday – OF – St. Louis Cardinals (4.2 WAR)

Hey, another OF! Moreover, just like Victorino, Holliday has missed some time due to injury. While he has a 4.2 WAR, his WAR/700 is 9.2. For reference, Matt Kemp’s WAR/700 is 7.9. So yeah, Holliday has been awesome. I just believe the time he missed will cost him.

Ryan Braun – OF – Milwaukee Brewers (4.5 WAR)

Braun has always been a big hitter, and 2011 has been no different. His basic line of .321/.398/.583 has given him a .430 wOBA and 176 wRC+. In fact, his wRC+ leads the NL. While he may be a long shot, if Braun keeps hitting the way he has been there will be a shot.

Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies (4.4 WAR)

Finally! A non-OF! Tulowitzki started off red-hot and then cooled down a lot. But he has been consistently good the past month or so and it’s showing in his numbers. Tulo has been fantastic with the glove, earning a full win with the leather alone. Team that up with a 124 wRC+ for a shortstop, and its not hard to see why he is in the running for MVP.

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers acquire Zack Greinke

December 19, 2010

What a crazy off-season. The next piece of shocking news is that the Kansas City Royals have traded ace pitcher Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Odorizzi, and a PTBNL. Wow. I know the Brewers name came up in trade rumors, but this is still shocking. I didn’t think a trade would happen this fast and I didn’t think Milwaukee would actually land him.

This is a real good deal for Milwaukee, imo. Despite having a stud in Yovanni Gallardo, their starting pitching sucked in 2010. But within a matter of weeks they picked up a solid #3 starter in Shaun Marcum and now add Zack Greinke, who is in the running for best pitcher in all of baseball. A trio of Greinke, Gallardo, and Marcum is quite good. Now, the back-end of the rotation still isn’t good, but if they can add a “project” pitcher, they could have a very good overall rotation. They have a lot of pitching depth, but the pitcher’s aren’t very good. So I would take a risk on a Jeremy Bonderman, a Ben Sheets, etc. If they don’t work out, it’s not like you don’t have someone else who can step in. It may not be a good pitcher, but it’s better than no pitcher.

The Brewers, right now, are my favorites to win the NL Central. Their starting pitching matches up with St. Louis, and the Brewers still have a good lineup. Prince Fielder is still at first. Rickie Weeks is at second. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are still patrolling the corner outfield. Milwaukee has a good team that should compete with St. Louis and Cincinnati.

As for Kansas City, I am underwhelmed with their return. They got some solid players, but it was in return for Zack Greinke. They could have done better. Alcides Escobar could be a solid player for the Royals down the line. He isn’t much of hitter, but he is a defensive star. His glove should make him a capable everyday player and contribute to a solid KC defense. Lorenzo Cain is an athletic center fielder and a good fielder, but is not a star player in the making. I do think he has a small probability of becoming a star, but I don’t think he’ll get there. He’ll just be an okay, everyday player for KC. Now, Jake Odorizzi is a very good prospect. He’s young and has dominated the low levels of the minors so far. He could become one of the Royals best prospects in a very short time.

So yeah, Kansas City did get good players for Zack Greinke, but they could have done better. I mean, from the Yankees they wanted Jesus Montero. None of the players KC got from the Brewers is on Montero’s level as a player/prospect. The Brewers came out really good in this trade, and Kansas City’s return is just “eh”. I mean, they trade two, relatively cheap years of an All-Star pitcher in his prime, for two okay players and one good prospect (plus a PTBNL). But at least they got rid of Yuniesky Betancourt. So I guess it’s a win.

 

Blue Jays trade Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee Brewers for prospect Brett Lawrie

December 6, 2010

The title says it all.

Not a blockbuster, but it’s a big trade and a fair trade.

The Blue Jays traded their #1 starter to the Brewers for their #1 prospect. It’s a trade that makes sense for both teams. The Blue Jays have a full rotation so they could afford to trade Marcum. The positions that Lawrie could play at the ML level are blocked in the foreseeable future in Milwaukee by Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, and Corey Hart.Moreover, Milwaukee really needs starting pitch help, since it’s brutal outside Yovanni Gallardo.

So the Jays get a good hitting prospect for a quality starting pitcher. The Brewers give up their top prospect for three cheap years of quality pitching, a dire need of theirs. Solid transaction.

 

Players WAR Values that are being plagued by poor defense.

July 23, 2010

This idea came to me when I thought about how much Adam Dunn used to minimize his value by playing absolutely awful defense in the OF. Dunn is a player who has great on-base skills and is a solid offensive player, but his defensive value negates most of his total WAR value. However, since switching to first base this season, Dunn has been a whole lot more valuable to the Nationals. He is playing about average defense at first base this season and his 2.9 WAR so far this year is already his highest since 2007 (3.1 WAR). It makes you wonder, if Dunn had been a 1B his whole career, would we be looking at Dunn a whole lot differently? I am going to look at some players whose value is being plagued by poor defense. I am going to use their past three seasons (including 2010) of fielding RAA, batting RAA, and WAR data since one season isn’t always reliable for fielding.

Ryan Braun: Past three seasons, 87 batting RAA, -21.8 fielding RAA, 10.7 WAR
It is kind of sad that Braun has only posted 10.7 WAR since 2008 considering how good of a hitter he is. However, he lost about 2 wins worth of value because he is such a poor defender in the OF. In the past three years, he has posted .400+ wOBA seasons twice yet he has not managed a 5+ WAR season. Here is how the Brewers should maximize Brauns value (all of this is dependent on Fielder’s departure). Eventually Braun should be moved to first base. If the Brewers were willing to downgrade him from third to the OF, they should be willing to downgrade him to first, especially if Prince Fielder leaves in the near future. If Braun happened to play AVERAGE defense at 1B instead of LF last season, he would have roughly a 5.7-5.8 WAR. Maybe the Brewers aught to consider moving Braun to first if Fielder departs.

Andre Ethier: Past three seasons, 72.5 batting RAA, -34.7 fielding RAA, 7.6 WAR
Ethier is a solid hitter as you can see, but he gives back almost half of his batting value due to poor corner OF defense. He is being plagued by poor defense more than his OF counterpart Matt Kemp. Ethier is another guy that can be moved to 1B if Loney ever happens to get traded. Just for speculation purposes, if Ethier were moved to 1B last season and played average defense (assuming Loney was traded), he would end up with roughly a WAR of 3.6 instead of his 2009 WAR of 2.8.

Bobby Abreu: Last three seasons, 49.1 batting RAA, -36.1 fielding RAA, 5.2 WAR
Abreu is probably a guy that you want to start DH’ing. He is going downhill defensively and he is 36 years old. If the Angels insist on keeping him, they need to move him to DH because hes been horrendous in the field and its taking away from about three-fourths of his offensive value. If the Texas Rangers lead becomes even larger before the trade deadline, the Angels might want to look into trading Abreu to an AL contender while they still can and get some young prospects in return.

Brad Hawpe: Last three seasons, 39 batting RAA, -58.6 fielding RAA, 1 WAR
You must be thinking, how does Hawpe have a positive WAR over the last three seasons if his fielding RAA exceeds his batting RAA. Well, its because the replacement runs are keeping him afloat. Hawpe is a solid offensive player, but he does not belong in the outfield and should probably be traded to an AL team. Plus, the Rockies should be able to replace him with ease because their OF is pretty crowded at the moment. However, if Hawpe were to move to an AL team and DH, his 2009 WAR would fall approximately around 2.6, which is a significant improvement over his 2009 WAR of 1.5.

Again, these are only four easy examples. Yes, im sure I could have dug deeper, but im sure you get the point. These four players have a couple things in common, they are all OF’ers and they should probably change positions in order to maximize their value. Look at the boost that Dunn has given the Nationals so far this year. Dunn could be a hot commodity on the trade market and it could net the Nats some big time value. Other GM’s and front offices need to take note of this.

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