Posted tagged ‘Ryan Zimmerman’

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.

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MLB award winners

November 7, 2010

Sorry for the delayed post on this topic, but without further ado here are my picks for the 2010 MLB awards.

AL MVP- Josh Hamilton (.359/.411/.633/.447/182, 571 PA, 7.0 aWAR)

Hamilton was just too dominant. I concentrated on WAR to figure out my MVP, along with several other factors. Since there are two versions of WAR, I got the average of rWAR and fWAR, which is what Tom Tango recommends. On here I pretty much use only fWAR, but for better analysis, I found the average of two versions this time around. While Hamilton didn’t look at hot with rWAR as he did with fWAR, his average was still the best and I put more stock in fWAR. Granted he missed a month, a month in which he could have slumped. But it also could have been his best month. He put up an insane .447 wOBA with positive defensive value playing center field. That’s an MVP to me.

Runner-ups: 2) Evan Longoria 3)Adrian Beltre 4) Robinson Cano 5) Miguel Cabrera

NL MVP- Joey Votto (.324/.424/.600/.439/177, 648 PA, 6.8 aWAR)

Offensively, Votto was nearly the Josh Hamilton of the NL. He absolutely killed the ball en route to leading the Reds to the NL Central division. Now, while his fWAR bested Albert Pujols, his rWAR was a full win behind Pujols, giving Pujols a better aWAR. However, the difference was due to difference in defensive metrics. According to fWAR, Votto was a slightly better hitter and they were equal defenders. According to rWAR,they were equal offensively, but Pujols was much better defensively.With SSS issues of defensive metrics and the difference in defensive metrics used in each version of WAR, I feel more comfortable saying Votto had the better year.

Runner-ups: 2) Albert Pujols 3) Ryan Zimmerman 4) Matt Holliday 5) Troy Tulowitzki

AL Cy Young- Felix Hernandez (249 IP, 3.04 FIP, 3.26 xFIP, 6.1 aWAR)

For most of the season I had Francisco Liriano as my Cy Young winner. But he got kind of ill in September and faltered a little bit while Felix picked up steam. I feel bad knocking Liriano for that, but he made the starts and wasn’t his usual self. So be it. Hernandez was a boss, leading the league in innings and excelling in all the things a pitcher can control- K, BB, HR allowed.

Runner Ups- 2) Cliff Lee 3) Francisco Liriano 4) Jered Weaver 5) Jon Lester

NL Cy Young- Roy Halladay (250 IP, 3.01 FIP, 2.92 xFIP, 6.9 aWAR)

This one is not even a contest. Halladay arguably had his best season as a professional, leading the league in innings and WAR. Looking at all his full seasons, he posted the best K/9 of his career and tied his best BB/9 at 1.08 walks per nine. He absolutely destroyed the National League.

Runner-ups- 2) Josh Johnson 3) Ubaldo Jiminez 4) Adam Wainwright 5) Roy Oswalt

AL Rookie of the Year- Austin Jackson (.293/.345/.400/.333/108, 675 PA, 3.1 aWAR)

While some people  might pick Neftali Feliz, I think Austin Jackson is a no-brainer. He played a more valuable position, was an above-average hitter and played superb defense. Putting up a 3.7 fWAR as a rookie is impressive. Jackson will be a solid player for Detroit for a long time. Also, if he didn’t get hurt, Caros Santana probably would have won the award. But he was called up late, and then missed a lot of time because of his injury. I put him at #5 anyway just to recognize him.

Runner-ups- 2) Brian Matusz 3) Neftali Feliz 4) John Jaso 5) Carlos Santana

NL Rookie of the Year- Jason Heyward (.277/.393/.456/.376/138, 623 PA, 4.7 aWAR)

Jason. Heyward. Is. A. Beast. I mean for real. He was twenty years and almost put up a .400 OBP in a full season. He had 91 BB despite spending some time on the DL. The dood can hit- and field. It was tempting to pick Posey, especially after watching his postseason, but Heyward had nearly 200 more PA in the regular season and was amazing in his own right. The NL rookie class had to have been one of the best ever.

Runner-ups- 2) Buster Posey 3) Jaime Garcia 4) Mike Stanton 5) Stephen Strasburg

AL Comeback Player of the Year- Colby Lewis (201 IP, 3.55 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, 4.0 aWAR)

In a tightly contested race, Lewis just edges Francisco Liriano. Yes, Liriano had a better season. BUT I find Lewis’ comeback more amazing- and he still had a fantastic season. Sure Liriano hasn’t been relevant since 2006, but Lewis pitched in JAPAN for the past two seasons. At least Liriano was hurt and fiddling around in America.

Runner-ups- 2) Francisco Liriano 3) Vernon Wells 4) Paul Konerko 5) Alex Rios

NL Comeback Player of the Year- Aubrey Huff (.290/.385/.506/.388/145, 668 PA, 5.8 aWAR)

Call this the Year of the Comeback. Much like the AL, there was an abundance of comeback players to choose from. Of all  my picks, this one was one of the toughest. But Huff had the best years of the players I narrowed it down to, and he had the worst performance of anyway in 2009. So he slides in perfectly as the winner.

Runner-ups- 2) Brett Myers 3) Anibal Sanchez 4) Kelly Johnson 5) Rickie Weeks

AL Most Improved/Breakout Player of the Year- Jose Bautista (.260/.378/.617/.422/169, 683 PA, 6.3 aWAR)

I think this one is a no-doubter. Jose Bautista went from a utility-role player to mashing 54 home runs. His WAR reached MVP level. Using fWAR, he bested his previous WAR high of 1.9 by five wins. Wowzers.

Runner-ups- 2) Daric Barton 3) Brett Gardner 4) CJ Wilson 5) David Price

NL Most Improved/Breakout Player of the Year- Andres Torres (.268/.343/.479/.363/128, 570 PA, 5.3 aWAR)

There were a ton of breakout players, but Andres Torres had the biggest breakout. He debuted in 2002 from 2002 through 2005 he never posted a fWAR above 0. Then he went to the minors from 2006 through 2008. He posted a 2.0 WAR last year in 75 games, but really broke out this season with a 6.0 fWAR. He hit well and was a monster of a fielder. Three players I want to mention for improving, but who didn’t even make my top five are Chris Young, Martin Prado, and Omar Infante.

Runner-ups- 2) Jay Bruce 3) Angel Pagan 4) Stephen Drew 5) Chase Headley

AL Relief Pitcher of the Year- Joakim Soria (65 IP, 2.53 FIP, 2.99 xFIP, 2.1 WAR, 2.18 pLI)

Joakim Soria did his best Mariano Rivera performance this season. Not only was he among the leaders in FIP, xFIP, and WAR, but he had the highest leverage index of the players I narrowed my search down to, meaning he performed like a beast in tougher situations than the other candidates for the award. He simply was the best reliever in the AL.

Runner-ups- 2) Matt Thornton 3) Mariano Rivera 4) Neftali Feliz 5) Rafael Soriano

NL Relief Pitcher of the Year- Carlos Marmol (77 IP, 2.01 FIP, 2.95 xFIP, 3.1 WAR, 2.04 pLI)

There were a ton of great relievers in the NL this season. Brian Wilson, Heath Bell, Matt Belisle, etc. But Marmol was the most dominant. His K/9 was 15.99. You read that right. 15.99. Sure, he walked more than five batters per nine, but chances are he would strike out the side before he would walk in a run. His K-BB was a +86. Brian Wilson had 93 STRIKEOUTS. And Marmol’s K-BB was 86. Simply amazing. Plus, he was among the leaders in pLI.

Runner-ups- 2) Brian Wilson 3) Heath Bell 4) John Axford 5) Matt Belisle

AL Silver Slugger Awards-

C- Joe Mauer (.327/.402/.469/.373/136)

1B- Miguel Cabrera (.328/.420/.622/.429/172)

2B- Robinson Cano (.319/.381/.534/.389/145)

3B- Adrian Beltre (.321/.365/.553/.390/143)

SS- Alexei Ramirez (.282/.313/.431/.322/97)

OF- Josh Hamilton (.359/.411/.633/.447/183)*

OF- Jose Bautista (.260/.378/.617/.422/169)

OF- Shin-soo Choo (.300/.401/.384/.388/147)

DH- Luke Scott (.284/.368/.535/.387/143)

* AL Offensive Player of the Year

NL Silver Slugger Awards-

C- Brian McCann (.269/.375/.453/.361/128)

1B- Joey Votto (.324/.424/.600/.439/177)*

2B- Dan Uggla (.287/.369/.508/.381/140)

3B- Ryan Zimmerman (.307/.388/.510/.389/146)

SS- Troy Tulowitzki (.315./.381/.568/.408/150)

OF- Carlos Gonzalez (.336/.376/.598/.416/155)

OF- Jayson Werth (.296/.388/.532/.397/150)

OF- Matt Holliday (.312/.390/.532/.396/153)

P- Yovanni Gallardo (.254/.329/.508/.363/130)

* NL Offensive Player of the Year

AL Gold Glove Awards-

C- Matt Weiters (1060 innings/5 DRS/13 FSR)

1B- Daric Barton (1331 innings/20 DRS/5 FSR/12.1 UZR)

2B- Robinson Cano (1393 innings/7 DRS/10 FSR/-0.6 UZR)

3B- Evan Longoria (1330 innings/15 DRS/20 FSR/11.1 UZR)

SS- Alexei Ramirez (1376 innings/16 DRS/12 FSR/10.8 UZR)

OF- Brett Gardner (1211 innings/16 DRS/12 FSR/21.9 UZR)

OF- Carl Crawford (1260 innings/14 DRS/15 FSR/18.5 UZR)

OF- Ichiro Suzuki (1411 innings/12 DRS/15 FSR/14.8 UZR)

P- Mark Buehrle

NL Gold Glove Awards-

C- Yadier Molina (1138 innings/6 DRS/19 FSR)

1B- Ike Davis (1263 innings/13 DRS/3 FSR/10.1 UZR)

2B- Brandon Phillips (1311 innings/0 DRS/18 FSR/9.7 UZR)

3B- Ryan Zimmerman (1189 innings/20 DRS/16 FSR/13.9 UZR)

SS- Brendan Ryan (1127 innings/27 DSR/11 FSR/11.5 UZR)

OF- Andres Torres (1120 innings/12 DRS/10 FSR/21.2 UZR)

OF- Jay Bruce (1199 innings/17 DRS/9 FSR/20.2 UZR)

OF- Michael Bourn (1189 innings/16 DRS/8 FSR/17.6 UZR)

P- Tim Hudson

Click here to see how we did on our pre-season award predictions!



Buster Olney breaks down the awards races

August 21, 2010

In a recent ESPN article, Buster Olney handicapped the AL/NL MVP and Cy Young races. The piece was interesting enough to draw my attention. I will go through each piece of the article to share my thoughts.

There are six weeks of baseball remaining, a quarter of a season, in which a lot can change. In 2004, Vladimir Guerrero mashed his way to the American League MVP Award by hitting .363 in September and hoisting the Angels onto his back: He generated 11 homers and 25 RBIs in that late push.

There is a lot more baseball to play in 2010. But as of today, here’s how we’d handicap the races for the two major awards in each league.


AL MVP

Cabrera
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. He leads the majors in OPS and RBIs and is tied for second in the AL in homers, all the while playing half his games in a pitchers’ park.

So far I have no complaints. While I believe Josh Hamilton is the MVP, I wouldn’t complain if Miguel Cabrera won the award. I know and you know OPS and RBI are junk stats, but in this case Olney is still picking a solid candidate to win the award.

2. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. He’s hitting .375 since the All-Star break, and .396 overall in home games.

No problems here. Although, saying he has hit .396 at home hurts his argument that Hamilton has been really good. Considering his BA is in the .350 range, it shows his home park has inflated his BA. Considering Olney takes a players home park into consideration- he did so with Cabrera- then Olney did not make a convincing case for Hamilton. My argument wouldn’t hinge on a stat like BA at all.

3. Robinson Cano, Yankees. The most important player in this lineup in 2010, and he has been excellent defensively.

That’s fine.

Others in the conversation: Delmon Young, Twins; Adrian Beltre, Boston; Evan Longoria, Rays; Paul Konerko, White Sox. But to be clear, there is an enormous gap between the top two candidates and the rest of the field.

Really Olney? Really? Delmon Young is in the conversation? What conversation? Young has finally put together a solid year offensively , but his defense continues to suck. His 2.0 WAR is average. Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Orlando Hudson, Jim Thome, and Denard Span are all Twins players with a better WAR. That’s 5/9 of the Twins starting lineup alone. Young is not in the MVP conversation.

Paul Konerko is not in the conversation either. He has been good, not great. The worst part is that while Konerko is mentioned, a player on a better team who has had a much better season is not mentioned at all- Carl Crawford. That is a poor oversight by Olney.

NL MVP

Votto
1. Joey Votto, Reds. His numbers are basically running neck-and-neck with those of Albert Pujols — and Votto’s team is in first place, which will count for something in the voting.

Agreed.

2. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. Numbers do not fully reflect what he means to San Diego’s success, between his defense and what teammates perceive to be an extraordinarily unselfish approach

Stoopid, just stoopid. Olney thinks he is the second most valuable player in the league, when is “only” the fourth most valuable player- at all first base alone! He’s having a fine season, but it doesn’t compare to Albert Pujols or Votto. The entire pitching staff, defense, and lady luck are the MVP’s of San Diego because they are winning due to those three things. Even with A-Gonz, the Padres offense is anemic.

3. Pujols, Cardinals. He’s having another great season.

Good analysis!

Others in the conversation: Aubrey Huff, Giants; Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies; and the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, who will get a lot of top 10 votes. Again, there is a major gap between the top tier of candidates — Votto, Gonzalez and Pujols — and the rest of the field.

I will give kudos to Olney. He mentioned Zimmerman, a top three MVP candidate, which I was not expecting since he is on a last place team and gets a lot of value from defense. So I will excuse him for saying there is a gap between Zimmerman and Votto or Pujols, when Zimmerman might have the best case of the three.

AL Cy Young Award

Lee
1. Cliff Lee, Mariners/Rangers. His WHIP is a major league best 0.95.

Here’s one barometer of just how good Lee has been, from Daniel Braunstein of ESPN Stats & Information:

The lowest percentage of pitches thrown on 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1 counts:

Pct. K/BB
Cliff Lee 3.53 14.50
Roy Halladay 4.21 7.20
Ricky Nolasco 4.72 4.90
Scott Baker 4.92 3.90
Kevin Slowey 4.99 3.92
Phil Hughes 5.00 3.05
Carl Pavano 5.14 3.45
Josh Johnson 5.14 4.26
Roy Oswalt 5.20 3.36
Dan Haren 5.25 4.94
For the sake of comparison, the highest percentage of pitches thrown on 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1:

Pct. K/BB
Gio Gonzalez 9.93 1.81
Tim Lincecum 9.38 2.73
Wade LeBlanc 9.15 2.11
Derek Lowe 9.07 1.87
C.J. Wilson 8.81 1.80
Joe Saunders 8.66 1.62
Jaime Garcia 8.50 1.94
Brandon Morrow 8.44 2.55
Trevor Cahill 8.43 .95
CC Sabathia 8.37 2.34

Well, Olney took a weird route to his final answer, but at least he picked this one correctly. Lee is having his best season and arguably the best season since Pedro in 2000 (or Zack Greinke in 2009).

2. Felix Hernandez, Mariners. He’s been absolutely dominant in the second half, with a 1.93 ERA.

Felix has had a great second half, but he should not be second in this race. Francisco Liriano has been filthy this season, but Carl Pavano is getting all the attention in Minny. Who does Liriano need to jerk off to get some respect?

3. David Price, Rays. Fifth in ERA and tied for second in wins with 15

We know better than to use ERA and wins, but Olney doesn’t. So it’s hard to criticize him for this pick. But what about other great lefties instead of Price? Like, lets say, Jon Lester?

3a. Trevor Cahill, Athletics

No, just no. King Luck should not be considered. I like Cahill and he does a nice job garnering ground balls. But he relies on BABIP too much. He doesn’t strike many people out. So balls are put in play a ton against him. By getting ground balls he does a good job to help himself from giving up too many base runners via hits, but a .213 BABIP is absurd. That is not his talent level at all, which is why he should not be in the Cy Young running.

Others in the conversation: CC Sabathia, Yankees; Clay Buchholz, Red Sox; Jered Weaver, Angels.

JON FUCKING LESTAH!

NL Cy Young Award

Wainwright
1. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals. He has gotten better and better and better as the season has progressed.

No qualms here, although it should be Doc Halladay or Josh Johnson.

2. Tim Hudson, Braves. Having an incredible bounce-back season.

No. See Cahill, Trevor.

3. Roy Halladay, Phillies. He has a shot at 20 wins in his first season with the Phillies.

Open your eyes and look at the numbers, Buster. Halladay, a future HOF’er at this point in time, is having his best season. He should be 1 or 2 (if you like J-Johnson). Not three. Poor effort here.

Again, who does J-Johnson need to jerk off? 5.6 WAR, 2.27 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 3.16 xFIP. Yeah, nbd I guess.

Handicapping the Awards – NL MVP Version

July 14, 2010

Much like the AL MVP race, the National League MVP race has no clear favorite at this point in the season. Unlike the AL, however, the race isn’t nearly as deep or star studded. Only two NL players have a 4.0+ WAR, while every player but one I highlighted in the AL has a WAR above 4.0. Also, this is the first time in a couple seasons the NL has even had a MVP race because of Albert Pujols’ complete domination the past couple years.

The Canadian bacon favorite

Joey Votto – 1b – Cincinnati Reds (4.2 WAR)

In a close battle with David Wright, Joey Votto has the slight edge. They have near identical WAR’s (4.2 to 4.1 for Wright) so it practically is a toss-up and you have to look deep at the numbers to really pick one over the other. One reason Votto is the favorite is the offensive production. Leading the league in OBP, SLG, wOBA, and wRC+, Votto has a line of .314/.422/.589/.433/169. So yeah, let’s call him the best offensive player in the NL in 2010. It really isn’t even that close either- Albert Pujols is second to Votto in wOBA, trailing by a mere 22 points. Votto may be a first baseman, so he should be expected to have better numbers than Wright, a third baseman, but Votto’s numbers are still very impressive. As far as defense is concerned, Votto has been a good defender in the past and in 737 innings thus far, he has a 4.0 UZR and +7 DRS. What truly separates Votto from Wright, for me, is the clutch factor. When it comes to the MVP, you should reward those valuable players who also do perform well in critical situations. Votto’s 2.99 WPA is the third best mark in the NL and a lot better than Wright’s. Votto’s clutch score is also better than Wright’s. In a close race that can change daily, Votto is my current favorite. Neither player should slow up in the second half, so it should be fun to see them slug it out- literally.

FG rest of season projection: 271 PA, .301/.388/.534/.400

FG updated final season numbers: 639 PA, .308/.407/.565/.420

The co-MVP favorite and the rest of the second tier

David Wright – 3b – New York Mets (4.1 WAR)

After a slow start to the season, following a so-so 2009 season, David Wright had many Mets fan concerned. But that alarm had no time to settle in as Wright soon went into warp drive. Wright is hitting .314/.392/.532/.396/149 and has been good with the glove posting a 3.3 UZR and +3 DRS in 771 innings. In 2007 and 2008 Wright had MVP caliber seasons, and is in the midst of another one. Votto may being having the better year offensively, but Wright is near equal in terms of value because of his position. WAR adjusts for position and despite that, Votto is still .1 of a win better, a negligible amount. So it comes down to the clutch factor. As I already mentioned, Votto has a better WPA and clutch score. That was my deciding factor when all else was equal. But Wright can outright win the MVP with a better second half, plain and simple. I mean, they are dead even  as it stands right now. All he has to do is perform slightly better and the future Hall of Famer will be locking up his first MVP.

FG rest of season projection: 303 PA, .308/.395/.510/.397

FG updated final season numbers: 674 PA, .311/.393/.522/.398

Matt Holliday – OF – St. Louis Cardinals (3.9 WAR)

Has anybody heard Matt Holliday’s name this season, or is it just me? I know he is overshadowed by Albert Pujols in St. Louis, but the dood has been having ANOTHER great season and I’ve heard no mention of it. Many people considered the contract he signed with St. Louis in the off-season a horrible deal for the club, but so far he is living up to the money. He is hitting .300/.373/.529/.390/147 on the year. Those numbers are actually worse than his career averages, but in a year where offense across the board is down, those numbers are still among the NL leaders. Defensive statistics have always loved Holliday, and 2010 is no exception. In 721 innings he has a 9.2 UZR and +5 DRS. By the end of the year, he could be adding double digit run value in the batting and fielding component of WAR, something Votto and Wright won’t be able to say. However, Holliday has a lower WPA (0.93) than the two favorites, and has a pretty bad clutch score (-0.94). That’s going to really hurt his chances of winning the award. In a really SSS of high leverage PA, he has a wRC+ of 72. Take that sample size with a grain of salt, but his production thus far has dipped in big spots.

FG rest of season projection: .305/.384/.527/.399

FG updated final season numbers: .302/.378/.528/.397

Ryan Zimmerman – 3b – Washington Nationals (3.7 WAR)

I don’t buy into the belief that the MVP has to be on a winning team, which is why I have Zimmerman listed. So far he is hitting .294/.383/.526/.388/142 which is a tad behind David Wright. However, is the far superior fielder. He’s been great since entering the league and in 657 innings this season, he has a 6.4 UZR and +16 DRS. Another advantage he has over Wright is the offensive production in the game’s biggest spots. His WPA is 1.94- better than Wright, and he has a 0.08 clutch score. That’s not great by any means, but it’s better than Wright who has a negative score. If Zimmerman outproduces Wright with the bat in the second half, the two could flip flop in their current spots as Zimmy has the defensive and clutch advantage. The title for best third baseman in the NL between these two should be another exciting race for years to come.

FG rest of season projection: 288 PA, .288/.362/.510/.378

FG updated final season numbers: 621 PA, .291/.373/.518/.386

The Machine

Albert Pujols – 1b – St. Louis Cardinals (3.4 WAR)

Why didn’t you eliminate them, Albert? is a question his cyborg self must asking, with “them” referring the NL field of MVP candidates. In 2008 and 2009 he seemingly ran away with the award, but that has not been the case in 2010. In fact, he hasn’t even been the best first baseman. But he is Albert Pujols so I’m not counting him out. So far he is hitting .308/.416/.576/.412/161 which are the best numbers in the NL outside Joey Votto. If his second half mirrors his 2009 production, he is going to win the MVP.

FG Rest of season projection: 301 PA, .328/.439/.620/.455

FG updated final season numbers: .317/.426/.595/.440

Prediction:

I think Joey Votto wins the award, especially if the Reds win the division. However, I believe when all is said and done, Albert Pujols will have the best numbers and thus should be the MVP. So I guess you can say whoever wins between those two depends on whose team wins the NL Central. While I didn’t make their case here, after Joey Votto and Albert Pujols, I believe Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay are next in line to win the MVP. I know people don’t like for pitchers to win the MVP award, but they are simply amazing and have been just as valuable if not more than valuable than my second tier candidates of David Wright, Matt Holliday, and Ryan Zimmerman.

4PARL 2010 PREDICTION BONANZA!

March 31, 2010

Well, April 4th and the start of the 2010 season is just days away. There are more hours of daylight, flowers are starting to bloom, players are wrapping up their Spring Training regimen, teams are making their final roster decisions, and vendors are preparing their popcorn bags.  Regular season baseball is already upon us. Huzzah! Huzzah!

Okay, enough of that. Like most people, we here at 4PARL have predictions and guesses for the upcoming season. Not projections because we’re not a cool enough blog. Just our predictions based off projections and gut instincts. ENJOY OUR PREDICTION BONANZA!

Playoffs:

Disco-

Yankees over Rangers
Red Sox over Twins
Yankees over Red Sox

Phillies over Rockies
Cardinals over Braves
Cardinals over Phillies

Yankees over Cardinals

ES42-

Yankees over Rangers
Red Sox over Twins
Yankees over Red Sox

Phillies over Cardinals
Rockies over Braves
Phillies over Rockies

Yankees over Phillies

10th batter-

Red Sox over Twins
Yankees over Angels
Yankees over Red Sox

Phillies over Cardinals
Rockies over Braves
Rockies over Phillies

Yankees over Phillies

Twaco-

Yankees over Rangers
Red Sox over White Sox
Yankees over Red Sox

Phillies over Rockies
Dodgers over Cardinals
Phillies over Dodgers

Yankees over Phillies

YC-

Yankees over Rangers
Red Sox over Twins
Yankees over Red Sox

Cardinals over Dodgers
Rockies over Phillies
Cardinals over Rockies

Yankees over Cardinals

JeffMac-

Yankees over Twins
Red Sox over Mariners
Red Sox over Yankees

Phillies over Dodgers
Cardinals over Braves
Phillies over Cardinals

Red Sox over Phillies

Dougbies-

Yankees over White Sox
Red Sox over Mariners
Yankees over Red Sox

Rockies over Marlins
Phillies over Cardinals
Rockies over Phillies

Yankees over Rockies

MVP:

Disco- Mark Teixeira/Chase Utley

ES42- Alex Rodriguez/Albert Pujols

10thbatter- Evan Longoria and Chase Utley

Twaco- Evan Longoria/Albert Pujols

YC- Alex Rodriguez/Hanley Ramirez

JeffMac- Alex Rodriguez/Hanley Ramirez

Dougbies- Alex Rodriguez/Albert Pujols

Cy Young

Disco- CC Sabathia/Roy Halladay

ES42- Jon Lester/Roy Halladay

10thbatter- CC Sabathia/ Roy Halladay

Twaco- Felix Hernandez/Tim Lincecum

YC- Jon Lester/Roy Halladay

JeffMac- Felix Hernandez/Roy Halladay

Dougbies- CC Sabathia/Tim Lincecum

Rookie of Year:

Disco- Scott Sizemore/Ian Kennedy

ES42- Carlos Santana/Jason Heyward

10thbatter- Brian Matusz/Jason Heyward

Twaco- Desmond Jennings/Jason Heyward

YC- Austin Jackson/Jason Heyward

JeffMac- Scott Sizemore/Kyle Blanks

Dougbies- Wade Davis/Drew Storen

Comeback Player of Year:

Disco- Alexis Rios/Rickie Weeks

ES42- BJ Upton/Jose Reyes

10thbatter- Francisco Liriano/Geovany Soto

Twaco- BJ Upton/David Wright

YC- BJ Upton/David Wright

JeffMac- Dice-BB/Jeff Francis

Dougbies- Vernon Wells/Chris Young (ARI)

Relief Pitcher of Year:

Disco- Jon Papelbon/Trevor Hoffman

ES42- Mariano Rivera/Jon Broxton

10thbatter- Mariano Rivera/Jon Broxton

Twaco- Mariano Rivera/Jon Broxton

YC- Mariano Rivera/Jon Broxton

JeffMac- Jon Papelbon/Jon Broxton

Dougbies- Rafael Soriano/Jon Broxton

Offensive Player of Year:

Disco- Miguel Cabrera/Albert Pujols

ES42- Alex Rodriguez/Albert Pujols

10thbatter- Evan Longoria/Albert Pujols

Twaco- Evan Longoria/Albert Pujols

YC- Joe Mauer/Albert Pujols

JeffMac- Alex Rodriguez/Albert Pujols

Dougbies- Alex Rodriguez/Albert Pujols

Defensive Player of Year:

Disco- Franlin Guitierrez/Nyjer Morgan

ES42- Evan Longoria/Ryan Zimmerman

10thbatter- Elvis Andrus/Ryan Zimmerman

Twaco- Franklin Guitierrez/Ryan Zimmerman

YC- Franklin Guitierrez/Matt Kemp

JeffMac- Elvis Andrus/Justin Upton

Dougbies- Franlink Guitierrez/Ryan Zimmerman

Breakout Player of Year:

Disco- Sean Rodriguez/Clayton Kershaw

ES42- Elvis Andrus/Casey McGhee

10thbatter- Brettt Anderson/Joey Votto

Twaco- Elvis Andrus/Ricky Nolasco

YC- Ryan Sweeney/Yunel Escobar

JeffMac- Alex Gordon/Jon Sanchez

Dougbies- Matt Weiters/Colby Rasmus

Players to Watch:

Disco- Felix Hernandez/Justin Upton

ES42- Matt Weiters/Justin Upton

10thbattter- Jake Peavy/Clayton Kershaw

Twaco- Brett Gardner/Seth Smith

YC- Justin Verlander/Troy Tulowitzki

JeffMac- Matt Garza/John Maine

Dougbies- Matt Weiters/Ubaldo Jiminez

BOLD ASS PREDICTIONS:

Disco-

-Reds win the Wild Card

-A’s win the AL West

-Grady Sizemore joins the 40/40 club

– Cliff Lee posts a 3.75+ ERA

– Jon Lester becomes the best lefty in baseball (not so bold, but a prediction nonetheless)

-Twins make the World Series

-Diamondbacks make the World Series

ES42-

-Beltran will get traded after having a good May/June/July
-Rockies finish with best record in the National League

10thbatter-

– Brett Anderson finishes in the top 5 in AL Cy Young voting
– Evan Longoria hits 45+ homers
– B.J. Upton goes for 30/30

Twaco-

-Jesus Montero will win AL ROY
-Ricky Nolasco will win NL Cy Young
-Marlins will win NL East

YC-

-Francisco Liriano will have a mid 2 ERA
-Ryan Sweeney will have a 5.0 WAR season due to defense
-Michael Bourn will steal 70 bases

JeffMac-

-Kyle Blanks trumps Jason Heyward in most stat categories
-Matt Garza wins the AL Cy Young
-The Rockies miss the playoffs
-Mike Cameron hits .260 w/30 HR
-The Chicago Cubs win the NL pennant

Dougbies-

-Wieters finished 2010 with a higher WAR than Mauer
-Reds win more games than Cubs in 2010
-Rockies make the World Series
-Phil Hughes is Yankees third best starter in 2010
-Ichiro/Figgins combine to steal 100+ bags

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.

Funny NL MVP voting

November 24, 2009

The 2009 MLB award season has come and gone at last. The always dumb BBWAA had a surprisingly good season, but they couldn’t resist going out with a bang. Click here to see the ridiculousness that was the NL MVP voting results.

I mean, they were so close, SO CLOSE, to having a good season. They got both Cy Young’s AND MVP’s right. While there were some mistakes (i.e. Ben Zobrist not even making the top five), the mistakes weren’t so bad. That is, until, today.

Where oh where should I begin? How about with Chase Utley. He finished eighth. Let me repeat- he finished eighth. EIGHTH! Eighth. Eighth. Not second. Not third. Eighth. What a joke. Seriously. That’s all I can say. If there was ANY NL player that could even remotely challenge Pujols, it was Utley.  His 7.6 WAR was second best in the NL to Albert Pujols among position players. He won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Outside Pujols, only three players were within a win of Chase Utley. His UZR/150 was also the fourth best in the NL. Some guy voted him tenth. It’s sad that while Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard got MVP’s, Chase Utley was only the second best player in the NL the past few seasons and still gets no recognition from the media.

Other jokes:

– Yunel Escobar got a fifth place vote. This is the worst vote of all time. Well, almost the worst of all time because…

– Jeremy Affeldt got a vote. This is not a typo. I mean it.

– Ryan Zimmerman was 27/30 with just one more vote than Jeremy Affeldt. I mean, he only had the best UZR/150 in the NL along with the fourth best WAR among position players.

– Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young but finished behind Chris Carpenter AND Adam Wainwright for MVP voting. Huh?