Posted tagged ‘Zack Greinke’

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.

 

Busy day in Chicago; Cubs sign Carlos Pena and White Sox sign Paul Konerko

December 8, 2010

The North side and South side both signed first basemen last night. Carlos Pena is going to the Cubs at 1/$10mil and Konerko is re-upping with the White Sox at 3/$37.5mil.

Let’s start with the North side deal because there is almost nothing to talk about. They need a first baseman. Carlos Pena is a first baseman. They signed him. Pena will be 33 years old and with aging is just an above average first baseman. Nothing special. He had an unusually poor 2010, mainly because he hit a ton of grounders. 44.9% of his balls in play were ground balls, well above his career average of 36.9%. So while his insanely low BABIP of .227 suggests bad luck, he also just didn’t swing the bat as well. He still has power- his ISO was above .200 and his HR/FB was above his career norm. He still walks a fair amount. But he didn’t hit enough line drives and power fly balls. If he can get his swing back, he should improve upon his 2010 numbers, but not too drastically. So he should be about a 2 WAR and be worth around $10mil. So it’s a solid deal for the Cubs. They won’t contend in 2011 so you can debate whether it was worth it to spend $10mil on Pena, but it’s “only” $10mil and it’s only one year. The Cubs DO need someone to play the position, so they went out and got a short term fix that won’t constrain them down the road.

The South Side deal is more noteworthy. Konerko will be getting an average salary of $12.5mil per year. Color me unimpressed. Konerko will be 35 next season, 36 in 2012, and 37 in 2013. Yet he will be paid $12.5mil. This seems like an irresponsible waste of money to me. They just signed another 1b/DH type player in Adam Dunn just a few days ago. Konerko was not needed. This also hurts Dunn’s value if they make him DH or play OF, making that deal much more of an overpay as well. But that’s besides the point. Konerko is OLD. Yes, he had a 160 wRC+ last season. But that’s an anomaly. Check out his wRC+’s from 2007-2009: 114, 106, 119. Yeah. But his BABIP was well above his career norms despite a LD% that is in line with his career average. So we should expect less fortune in 2011, which means less times on base, less extra base hits, and less offensive production, which in turn means less value. Being generous, I can start him at 2.5 in 2011. By 2013 he will be a 1.5 WAR player. So I have him being worth $29.5mil over three years. OVERPAY.

So that’s it.

I also really want the Yankees to sign Russell Martin. He would be a good catcher to split time with Jesus Montero on the cheap. Best case scenario he finds himself offensively and returns to being a 4-5 WAR player. Also, signing him would open up the possibility of trading Jesus Montero for Zack Greinke, leaving Martin as the starter until Austin Romine is ready. 1/$4mil with a club option for 2012? Please think about it Cashman.

My quick take on what the Royals should do with Zack Greinke

December 2, 2010

Keep him.

Yes, I know trading him now would bring back the ultimate return. The other team would be trading for two years of his services, upping his value since he is not just a rental. Moreover, after Cliff Lee there are no good starters on the market, so a team might overpay in a trade for Greinke. Despite all that, I would not trade Zack Greinke.

Why? Because he is amazing. And the team will be good soon enough.

Sure, Greinke wants to WIN. But the Royals have a LOADED farm system. From Eric Hosmer to Danny Duffy, the Royals only need a handful of their farm system stars to pan out. In a division like the AL Central, a talented, young team could go far. Having Greinke just makes the team even better and will bring about the success at a faster rate. Will it be tough to convince him? Maybe. The Royals have tried rebuilding before and it did not work out. But their current crop of talent is too good to completely bust. If Greinke can just wait another season or two, Kansas City could be the winning team he wants to play for. His deal runs out in 2012, but KC does have the money to extend him.

The only way I trade Greinke is if I get an absolute HAUL in return. I’m talking Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances from the Yankees. Scheppers, Perez, and Holland from Texas. Hicks and Gibson from the Twins. In that case, the return is TOO good to not give him up, and the farm system will become- like- the greatest of all-time.

Well, that’s my quick take so take it for what it’s worth.

If I’m Texas, maybe even New York as well, I go after Lee AND Greinke. Imagine a Texas rotation next season with Lee, Greinke, Wilson, Lewis, Feliz/Hunter?

Addressing Yankee trade rumors: Dan Haren and Zack Greinke

July 23, 2010

Rumors of a potential Dan Haren trade have been swirling for weeks, but they have kicked up a notch recently, with the Yankees listed as one of the potential trade partners. I have been doubting New York’s true interest in Haren, but the latest rumors say that if Arizona wants to talk prospects instead of ML ready players, talks with New York would heat up. So let me break down a potential trade between the two teams.

First off, let me start by saying Dan Haren is an awesome pitcher. Here are his WAR numbers starting from 2005 to 2009: 4.0, 4.0, 4.9, 6.5, and 6.1. He’s a pretty good pitcher as you can tell. His career numbers include a 3.69 FIP, 3,61 xFIP, 3.99 tERA, 7.74 K/9, 1.97 BB/9, and 1.07 HR/9. That’s quite filthy. But 2010 has been a quasi-down year for Haren. While he is sporting a career best 9.00 K/9 and has a 1.85 BB/9, his home run rate has exploded. Currently it is 1.47 HR/9 which has led to a 3.92 FIP. On the bright side, his xFIP is 3.31 and his rest of season projection gives him a 3.27 FIP. His periphs indicate that he has been just fine.

So lets project him going forward. A 2.0 WAR the rest of the way, including the playoffs, is a plausible figure. At a 2010 market rate per win of $4, that gives him $8mil in value for 2010. Being conservative, lets project him to have a 5.0 WAR next season, with a 0.5 decrease each season thereafter. So in 2012 his WAR will be 4.5 and in 2013 it will be 4.0. For those seasons let say the market rate per win is $4.4mil. 4.4 x 13.5 = $59.4mil. Add in his $8mil in value for 2010 and you get a total value of $67.4mil. But through 2013, if his option is picked up, he will be owed $44mil. Subtract that from $67.4 and you get a total value of $23.4mil*.

*I didn’t adjust for inflation, but that shouldn’t hinder the results too much. And I did not tack on value for draft picks after the 2013 season, since I can’t say for sure he will be a Type A or B free agent, and plus the value of prospects can change over the next three seasons.

So that means the D-Backs should expect about $23mil-$24mil in return value. That instantly rules Jesus Montero out of the question. If you consider Austin Romine a top 26-50 hitting prospect, which many do, then he is worth $23.4mil on the dot. In reality would Arizona trade for Austin Romine straight up? I doubt it. A prized prospect (although I don’t see why) is Eduardo Nunez. A package with similar level prospects (Nunez/McAllister/Laird?) might be able to seal the deal, but again, I don’t see Arizona going for that. In the end, I think if the Yankees end up acquiring Haren, they will overpay to do so.

But is Haren even worth it? For 2010, he will help. With Pettitte out until September, he would be a significant upgrade over Sergio Mitre as a member of the starting rotation. Plus, he would still be in pinstripes for at least two more years and figure to be our #2 pitcher behind CC Sabathia. Haren is a stud with an affordable contract, so I’d be glad to have him. However, his HR rate in NYS might not be pretty and the move to the AL East might hurt his numbers. If the price is right, I’d be all for a Haren trade. If not, we can win in 2010 without him, and other options will be available in the next two years as well.

Another interesting trade rumor is Zack Greinke. Apparently, the Royals have no untouchables on their team- Greinke included. While the Yankees have not been linked in trade talks with the Royals, I would imagine Cashman is at least calling and kicking the tires. And he better be.

Greinke is one of the only players in baseball who I would trade a kings ransom for. He was ranked #20 on Dave Cameron’s recent “Trade Value” series and is a year removed from a Cy Young season. He is just 26 and has a fantastic, below market rate contract. If he posts a 2 WAR the rest of the way in 2010, a 6 WAR in 2011, and 5.5 WAR in 2012, I have his total value at $58.6mil. Subtract $29.5mil for his contract through 2012 and he has a total value of $29.1mil. But also factor in he will be a 28 year old pitcher at the end of 2012, entering his prime. If he is on the Yankees before then, you know they will sign him long term. So he would be worth way more than $29.1mil.

Jesus Montero would head the package for Greinke. Maybe even Joba Chamberlain as well. Greinke is THAT good. I probably would trade Montero and Chamberlain for a 26 year old Cy Young worthy pitcher. I don’t know how much further I’d go, but you could put the AL Pennant on lock down mode for the next few seasons. CC/Greinke/Hughes- yawn.

Know, I know about his mental health, but he should be just fine pitching in NYC. I doubt the Bronx environment will suddenly cause him to walk batters and forget how to throw a baseball. Maybe he might need to adjust at first to a new atmosphere, but he is not going to lose his talent. As a professional, he still goes to big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as a visitor and he performs well there. I have enough confidence in him to trade Montero and other highly regarded players for his services.

In the end, I doubt the Yankees make a trade for either pitcher (especially Greinke) but I’m covering the bases, just in case.

Handicapping the Awards – AL Cy Young Edition

July 6, 2010

We are at the halfway point in the season, so it’s time to start looking forward to the end of season awards. Today features the AL Cy Young, as the title implies. In both the AL and the NL, I don’t think there has been as deep or as good a race as there is this year in a long time. There are a handful of pitchers right now who have legitimate cases to win the Cy Young, which means it will be tough for the BBWAA to mess things up this season.

The Dirty Swag favorite

Francisco Liriano – SP- Minnesota Twins (4.2 WAR)

The King of Filth is back. After bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2006 with a 2.55 FIP and 4.1 WAR in just over 100 innings, Liriano ended up missing all of 2007 with an injury, and pitched in just parts of 2008 and 2009 at the ML level. But he has returned in 2010, picking up where he left off in 2006. The man only has a 2.10 FIP, which leads baseball. The man only has a 2.88 xFIP, which leads baseball. The man only has a 2.42 tERA, which trails Cliff Lee. The man only has a 4.2 WAR, which leads baseball. He is striking out over a better an inning with a 9.88 K/9, which is the third best mark in the AL, and his 26.5% K% is second best in the AL to Jered Weaver. His walk rate is 2.38 BB/9 (same as in 2006) and he has given up just two home runs thus far. No typo. Only two home runs allowed thus far. How does his second half look? Well, his BABIP is high at .352, which one would expect to move down closer to his career average. So if anything, Liriano has not had luck on his side. Of course, his HR rate may not stay where it is, but his FB% is just 28.7%. His HR/FB% is well below his career average, but if he continues to get grounders while racking up the K’s, he may not give up many homers in the second half.

FG rest of season projection: 85 IP, 3.34 FIP, 8.68 K/9, 3.18 BB/89, and 0.74 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 190.7 IP, 2.59 FIP, 9.35 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, and 0.42 HR/9

The Field

Cliff Lee – SP – Seattle Mariners (4.0 WAR)

Cliff Lee is having a special season. Until recently, I had him pegged as my Cy Young, until I realized how dominant Liriano has been. But we might be witnessing an historic season with Cliff Lee, despite the fact he missed an entire month due to injury. The man doesn’t walk anybody. At all. In 2008 his BB/9 was 1.37. In 2009 that number skyrocketed all the way up to 1.67. This season it is 0.52. Okay, hold on, I just lost it looking at that stat. Simply amazing. But that is not the historic part. His K/BB is 14.83. That would be the best single season in the history of baseball. Who is in second? Brett Saberhagen with an 11.0 ratio. Yup. So not only is Lee making history, he is crushing history with a K/BB ratio 3.83 better than the next best mark. Holy shit.

Lee is second in baseball to Liriano with a 2.22 FIP and second to Liriano when it comes to x FIP with a 3.25 mark. He is second to Liriano in WAR with a 4.0 WAR and boasts Liriano in tERA, with a 2.16 figure. While I have Liriano as the Cy Young if the season ended today, Lee presents himself as the biggest challenger in my book and might just take the lead if he keeps up his historic season. I mean, it’s almost the ASG and the dood has allowed single digit walks. I know he missed April, but he still has pitched over 100 innings thanks to five complete games. Dood is boss. Dood will make bank soon.

FG rest of season projection: 107 IP, 3.06 FIP, 6.98 K/9, 1.51 BB/9, 0.67 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 210.7 IP, 2.65 FIP, 7.35 K/9, 1.03 BB/9, 0.56 HR/9

Jered Weaver – SP – Anaheim Angels (3.2 WAR)

While many people say that Shin-soo Choo is the most underrated player in baseball, my vote will go towards Jered Weaver. Despite being the ace on a winning club in a giant market like LA, Weaver isn’t quite a household name. In fact, he isn’t even on the AL All-Star team, even though the game will be played in Anaheim. Meanwhile, the man just K’s bitches- to the tune of a league leading 10.27 batters per nine innings. He doesn’t walk many people either as noted by his 2.15 BB/9. He has a 2.89 FIP, 3.26 xFIP, and 2.67 tERA. His HR rate is a little high at 0.91, which might be costing him the award. But his HR/9 is lower than his career average, so we shouldn’t expect him to lower it in the second half.

FG rest of season projection: 96 IP, 3.85 FIP, 8.06 K/9, 2.63 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 204.7 IP, 3.34 FIP, 9.23 K.9, 2.37 BB/9, 1.01 HR/9

Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox (3.5 WAR)

In the beginning of the season I thought Jon Lester would emerge as the best lefty in the league. Little did I know Cliff Lee and Francisco Liriano would turn into super pitchers, but Lester remains a Cy Young candidate nonetheless. In his first couple ML seasons, Lester wasn’t particular adept at striking people out, but in 2009 he struck out 9.96 batters per nine innings. He has kept that pace up this season, with a 9.32 K/9. Couple that with a 3.32 BB/9 and 0.47 HR/9, and it’s no surprise that he has cemented himself as one of the best aces in the game. His 2.93 FIP, 3.39 xFIP, and 3.06 tERA are among the leaders in the AL.

FG rest of season projection: 101 IP, 3.32 FIP, 8.38 K/9, 3.03 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 215 IP, 3.01 FIP, 8.87 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, 0.54 HR/9

Coming up strong

Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners (2.9 WAR)

He started out slow, but has been ON FIRE his past several starts. His slow start may cost him in the long run, but if he can prolong his current hot streak, he will be in the thick of things come October. This young stud is having another career year with numbers that include an 8.58 K/9, 2.81 BB/9, 0.67 HR/9, 3.25 FIP, 3.46 xFIP, and 3.00 tERA. Amazing Seattle has him AND Cliff Lee AND a good defense, but still aren’t a good team. That offense must be BAD.

FG rest of season projection: 118 IP, 3.26 FIP, 8.39 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, 0.69 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 239.7 IP, 3.19 FIP, 8.49 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9

Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers (2.8 WAR)

If it wasn’t for arguably the best pitching season since Pedro back in 2000 by Zack Greinke, Verlander probably would have been the 2009 AL Cy Young winner. While he hasn’t been as stellar this season, Verlander has still been great enough to get attention for the Cy Young award. It’s going to take a dominant second half to move ahead of some pitchers already highlighted, but he can do it. He currently has a 3.21 FIP, 3.97 xFIP, and 2.99 tERA.

FG rest of season projection: 110 IP, 3.37 FIP, 8.92 K/9, 3.11 BB/9, 0.82 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 220 IP, 3.24 FIP, 8.67 K/9, 3.07 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9

Dark horse

Zack Greinke – SP – Kansas City Royals (2.3 WAR)

No one expected Zack to repeat his 2009 performance, but his performance in 2010 have left fans wanting more. The main culprit has been a much lower K rate and much higher HR rate than in 2009. But he still has been very good. He has a 3.65 FIP, 3.81 xFIP, and 3.58 tERA this season, all of which are a tad below the numbers of the other candidates. But if Greinke can match his second half projections, he could move to the front of the pack, which is why he is my dark horse candidate to repeat as AL Cy Young.

FG rest of season projection: 110 IP, 3.07 FIP, 8.67 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, 0.82 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 222 IP, 3.31 FIP, 8.03 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9

Predictions

At the midway point, I would give the award to Liriano. I think he will keep it up and earn his first Cy Young Award. However, if Lee stays in the AL and continues his historic season, he can overcome Liriano. And as for the mainstream media- he would easily win if he pitches well for his new team and continues to throw complete games, something the average fan and writer loves.

Top 10 players you would build a franchise with

May 9, 2010

Its based on position, age, and salary. These things are huge when wanting to build a franchise around one player. So here we go:

10. Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves

Position : Pitcher
Age : 23
2010 Salary : 435k

Hanson is a great young talented pitcher. The Braves will have one of the better rotations in the future because of Hanson and Jair. He had a great rookie year posting a 2.89 ERA and a 3.50 FIP. He was a bit lucky. He even had a 80.3 LOB%. Hanson had a 1.18 WHIP. In 127 innings pitched he has a 2.6 WAR. Hes the real deal people.

9. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles

Position : Catcher
Age : 23
2010 Salary : 400k

Before taking a major league at bat Wieters was described as Joe Mauer with power. I could see him making some noise in the next few years. The Orioles filled a vital position with him and he should be signed to a new deal this off-season. Wieters first season in the show would be a success in my eyes. He had a .340 OBP, .404 SLG, and a .324 wOBA. Not bad for a rookie. He also had a 1.3 WAR in 96 games. A young power hitter like Wieters will strikeout a lot, but he is the catcher of the future. Mauer and Wieters can possibly be battling for the best catcher title in the future.

8. Zack Greinke – Kansas City Royals
Position : Pitcher
Age : 26
2010 Salary : 7.5 million

Greinke came out of no where in 2009 to win the AL Cy Young award. KC has him for two more years after 2010. His 9.4 WAR led pitchers. You have to be simply amazing to win 16 games with the Royals run support. He wasn’t great until 2009, but many people expect big things from him. Including myself. In 09′ he had a 2.16 ERA and a 2.33 FIP. His LOB% was 79.3%. That is just crazy good. To have anything near 80% is great. His WHIP was 1.07. Greinke also ate innings up. Almost 230 total innings pitched in those he had 242 strikeouts. He could be a key piece to a contender in a two years.

7. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers

Position : CF
Age : 25
2010 Salary : 4 million

The future of the Dodgers is Matthew Kemp. Like Lincecum, Kemp avoided arbitration by signing a two-year deal. Not too bad for the Dodgers either 2010 4 million and 2011 6.95 million. Kemp is known for his hitting, but I hope he will become a better fielder. In 2009 he had a 2.9 UZR, but in 2010 he already has a -11.3. I’m positive its just him taking terrible routes to the ball. For Kemp’s sake he hopes he can change that so hes not the next Ryan Braun.

.347/.485/.360

Plus his 5.0 WAR last year don’t look too shabby either.

6. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies

Position : SS
Age : 25
2010 Salary : 3.5 million

Another young star locked up for a long time with a solid deal for the organization. Hes with the Rockies until 2014. Tulo’s contract don’t hit over 5.5 million until 2012. Colorado has a gem here in Tulowitzki. He plays shortstop good, and hits like a mad man. I’d consider him the second or third best shortstop in the league behind Hanley. A career .355/.471/.354 OBP/SLG/wOBA. He got to learn to not strikeout so much, but as one of those rare power hitting shortstops I guess the 19.7 K% comes with it. Tulo’s career UZR is 10.4. His value is high with a 5.5 WAR a season ago. Tulo is a favorite of mine and wouldn’t mind having a great hitter and good fielder in return for this amount of dough.

5. Tim Lincecum – Francisco Giants
Position : Pitcher
Age : 25
2010 Salary : 8 million

Lincecum is on pace to become one of the greatest pitchers the game has ever seen barring injury. He already has two Cy Young awards under his belt in four seasons as a starter. The Freak avoided arbitration by signing a two year deal for 8 million in 2010 and 13 million in 2011. Thats a ton of weed! Joking a side his stats are unbelievable. His ERA is 2.82 and his FIP is 2.71. Meaning his ERA is right around where he is supposed to be. His 75.5 LOB% is slightly above average. Lincecum also knows how to eat innings and strike people out. In 641 innings over four seasons he struck out 732 batters. Here are some other stats to check out.

WHIP – 1.13
tERA – 2.06
WAR – 20.8

His WAR last season was 8.2 tied for the second most among pitchers. I’d love to have this guy in my staff for years to come.

4. Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks

Position : RF
Age : 22
2010 Salary : 500k

The Diamondbacks are getting a real steal here. They aren’t paying him a whole lot until I’d say 2013 where hes getting 9.75 million. He is locked in from 2010-2015. I see a great career ahead of Upton. His stat line goes…

.348/.478/.355

And you can only see this 22 year old right fielder can only get better. His WAR last season was 4. Upton is also a great defense. His UZR was 8.5 and his UZR/150 was 9.0. He figured something out last year because there was a dramatic increase in his defensive numbers from 08-09. In a small sample size this year it seems he will be even better this year. A good young all-round player, and cheap too!

3. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins

Position : Catcher
Age : 27
2010 Salary : 12.5 million

Mauer is pretty expensive and after this season he’ll be getting 23 million annually until 2018. But Mauer will be much worth it. He is the best catcher in the game. Probably the second most valuable position in the MLB. His hitting numbers are crazy. Mauer’s career numbers look like this.

.408/.484/.384

These are crazy numbers since his rookie season in 2004. His career WAR is 28.7 but I believe we haven’t even seen Mauer’s peak. His MVP season is just the beginning of great seasons to come. If you were starting a franchise I couldn’t say you were wrong spending a ton of money on this guy. He had 8 WAR season just by hitting because catchers do not have a defensive metric. Indicating it would be even higher. Mauer also does not strike out a lot by seeing his 11.4 K%. Get ready to pay some incentives because this guy will be winning a few MVP’s in the next 10 years.

2. Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins

Position : SS
Age : 26
2010 Salary : 7 million

Hanley is pretty costly, but is an amazing talent at one of the more valuable positions in the MLB. I’d say shortstop is the #1 most valuable position in baseball. He is going to be a Marlin until 2014 unless trade. Ramirez finished 7th in WAR last season with a 7.1 WAR. Hanley can straight up rake though. In his 5 years in the majors he posted a .387/.530/.397 (OBP/SLG/wOBA) Like Longoria, Ramirez strikes out a bit, but not as much. He has a career 18.2 K%. So far through this season (small sample size) he has a 12.6%. So it might seem he will strike out less this year. His career BB% is 9.6. It should get higher, but he hits so well his OBP could be .400+ again this year. Hanley isn’t the greatest field either. He only had 1 season (not including his two games in 2005) where he had a positive UZR. Ramirez is such a great hitter though he don’t need his glove too produce.
1. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays

Position : 3B
Age : 24
2010 Salary : 950k

Longoria is the best option when it comes down to age, position and salary. He is only 24 years old and is the second best third basemen in the major leagues. Could be argued as the first best. The Rays are getting a really great deal with Longoria. He isn’t reaching the million dollar mark until next season, and is in his 2nd season of his 6 year deal. He was also had a top 10 WAR for batters last year with a 7.2 WAR. Longo is a very productive player here is his OBP/SLG/wOBA in his very short career. .359/.536/.381. It shows he gets on base. His BB% is 10%. Like other young power hitters his K% is in the mid 20’s. According to UZR (18.1) and UZR/150 (18.5) he is the best fielding third basemen in the MLB. In conclusion Evan can do it all. I expect his K% to go down as he becomes more experienced.

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

Discussion question: What is your current top 5 in the AL MVP voting?

August 27, 2009

Here is an opinion i recently posted after glancin at a couple of stats…

Joe Mauer
Zack Greinke
Ben Zobrist
Justin Verlander
Derek Jeter

HM Evan Longoria, Marco Scutaro, Roy Halladay, Miguel Cabrera,

Also, Mark Teixera may, or may not be in my top 10, i’d need to look much more in depth.

Handicapping the Awards – AL Cy Young Edition

July 20, 2009

Presently the AL and NL MVP’s have clear favorites however as will be discussed the CY Young awards seem to have a much different feel. In the American League there is one pitcher who has stood above the rest but his team may ultimately let him down in his chase for the honors. Zack Greinke was oddly passed over for the starting job in the All-Star game this past week and I fear that even with a great second half the results may be the same in the Cy Young vote at year’s end because the field combating Greinke for the award are having some excellent seasons in their own right.

*/ stats provided are in the order of ERA/Whip/FIP

** Stats up to date through play on 7/18/09

Pedro Junior a.k.a. The Favorite

Zack Greinke – SP – Kansas City Royals (6.1 WAR)

By now everyone in the baseball world has heard the story of Greinke overcoming personal issues to take his place among the elite pitchers of the game. What I find most intriguing is that most individuals don’t realize just how truly special his season has been. In a 134.1 innings Greinke has recorded 136 strikeouts and only walked 24 batters for a K-BB ratio of 5.67 good for 2nd best in the AL behind Roy Halladay. Couple this dominance with Greinke’s continued ability to keep the ball in the park (4 HR allowed) a line of 2.08/1.11/1.97 becomes possible. The 1.97 FIP would be the lowest mark since Martinez went 1.39 in the greatest pitching season ever in 1999.

It would be near impossible for Greinke to match his first half output but ZIPS projections have him ending the season at 2.59/1.15/2.44 and 16 wins. If the Royals can provide Greinke with the run support and bullpen help every starter needs this award could be his in a run away.

The Field

Roy Halladay – SP – Toronto Blue Jays (4.2 WAR)

Presently the main story surrounding Halladay are trade rumors and not the dominance he has once again shown. With a 10-3 mark in a 123.0 innings pitch, Halladay leads the AL in K-BB ration at 6.24 while sporting a line of 2.85/1.10/2.85. If the former CY Young winner keeps his home in the American League a 2nd Cy Young season could be in the makings. With a ZIPS rest of season projection of 3.40/1.16/3.17 leading to a final line of 3.10/1.13/2.97 and a league best 5.24 K-BB another Cy Young is certainly within reach.

Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners (4.2 WAR)

The one they call King seems destined to finally put his name in the hat for best pitcher in the American League if not in baseball. The great season that Felix Hernandez is putting together seems to get lost in the shuffle at times but with a line of 2.51/1.12/2.84 in 132.2 innings it could soon be time for the whole country to recognize just how special this 23 year old could be. ZIPS projects only 6 more wins for Hernandez in 2009 which could lead to a lower then deserved spot on many voters’ ballots but with a projected final line of 2.98/1.20/2.92 and 213 strikeouts the King will deserve to have his name in the hat come the final day of the season.

Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers (4.5 WAR)

The 2009 league leader in strikeouts Verlander takes his spot on this ballot ahead of his teammate Edwin Jackson because of better projections, a much better K-BB ratio and a FIP over a half run better. Boasting a record of 10-5 in 129.1 innings Verlander unlike Halladay and Hernandez plays for a division leader who seem better equipped to give him the necessary support to pile up those precious wins (well in the voters eyes at least). Coming in with a line of 3.34/1.19/2.74 and a K/9 of 10.79, Verlander’s FIP actually suggests his numbers will improve in the 2nd half. ZIPS has a final line of 17-10 3.56/1.24/3.01 for Verlander and if he can perform to those levels, add a few wins and lead the league in strikeouts the CY Young coming to rest in Detroit is not so hard to imagine.

Josh Beckett – SP – Boston Red Sox (3.5 WAR)

Another starter with a teammate who could warrant discussion in this post, Beckett got off to a slow start in ’09 going 2-2 with a 7.22 ERA in April but since then he has been just as good as any pitcher in the American League. Boasting a league leading 11 wins and a line of 3.35/1.15/3.28 Beckett is back to his ’07 caliber when he finished second in the voting to C.C. Sabathia. With a ZIPS projected final line of 3.58/1.18/3.25 with 18-7 record strikeouts approaching 200, the Red Sox ace could find himself in line to take home his first award.

Do not sleep on this guy

Jered Weaver – SP – LAA Angels (2.6 WAR)

Weaver does not sport the FIP and WAR totals of the other candidates but in the eyes of the BBWAA he has a few things going for him. First he already has 10 wins and plays for a perennial contender that should aid him in pursuit of leading the AL in wins. Second he has 107 strikeouts in 124.0 IP, if he can maintain that strikeout rate and approach 210 IP his strikeout total will be large enough to attract voters’ attention. Regardless if Weaver will deserve the award with a ZIPS projected final line of 3.66/1.21/3.68 a strong second half in which he pushes close to 20 victories and out performs those projections just slightly will keep his name in the race as the Angels attempt to win another AL West crown.

Predictions

Zach Greinke will end up being the best pitcher in the American League in 2009. However because he plays in relative obscurity in Kansas City the baseball world as a whole will not realize just how good he has been. With that said one does not need to go out on much of a limb to select Roy Halladay as the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, but that is what I must do here, of course with the caveat that he actually finishes the season in the American League.