Earlier I wrote about how you could validate voting for each Giant on the MLB All Star Ballot, now it’s probably an appropriate time to list my actual All Stars. Since voting doesn’t close until the 4th of July, there’s going to be plenty of room for hot streaks, and hot piles of slumps. As with the online ballot itself, I’ll give you my players for each position, and we’ll leave it at that for now.
1B — Chris Davis (14 HR, .420 OBP, .458 wOBA, 190 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR)
SS — Jhonny Peralta (4 HR, .379 OBP, .364 wOBA, 127 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR)
OF — Mike Trout (9 HR, 9 SB, .400 wOBA, 157 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR)
OF — Jose Bautista (11 HR, .408 wOBA, 158 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)
DH — David Ortiz (7 HR, .397 OBP, .429 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR)
C — Buster Posey (6 HR, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 152 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR)
OF — Carlos Gonzalez (11 HR, 8 SB, .390 OBP, .413 wOBA, 154 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)
OF — Justin Upton (14 HR, .387 OBP, .410 wOBA, 165 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR)
Feel free to put your ballot or changes in the comments because I can see how you might like player B over player A. Short season so far, lots of time left before I have to decide who I’m voting in 35 times.
Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.
Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.
This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”
This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.
20. R.A. Dickey (233.2 IP, 8.86 K/9, 3.39 tERA, 4.6 fWAR, 5.6 rWAR) – Had I considered age in this ranking, maybe Dickey would have been higher, but I’ll let someone else do that ranking. I think it’s still cool that we could have some more years to experience his dominance over hitters though.
19. David Price (211.0 IP, 8.74 K/9, 3.23 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 6.4 rWAR) – Really had trouble ranking 19-21 with the three pitchers, but in the end, I just liked Price’s numbers the best
18. Aaron Hill (26 HR, 14 SB, .375 wOBA, 6.2 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – What a change of scenery can do for you, Aaron Hill looks like he’s found his comfort zone in Phoenix after being traded from Toronto.
17. Cliff Lee (211.0 IP, 1.19 BB/9, 3.21 tERA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Poor Clifton didn’t get a lot of love because of the W-L record he sported, but it’s not his fault his team didn’t score runs for him, even if he was on for most of the season.
16. Michael Bourn (26 2B, 42 SB, .326 wOBA, 6.4 fWAR, 6.0 rWAR) – The speedy center fielder does his job tearing up the basepaths and covering his part out in CF. Jim Bowman suggested the Giants could be a fit, I think not. ($)
15. Felix Hernandez (232.0 IP, 8.65 K/9, 3.21 tERA, 6.1 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – The King may be the only true royalty in Seattle now, but he should have an army of arms coming to help out soon.
14. Aramis Ramirez (27 HR, 50 2B, .384 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – May be the most underappreciated season of the guys listed in this top percentage, but the BBWAA recognized it, and he finished 9th in NL MVP voting.
13. Yadier Molina (22 HR, 12 SB, .375 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – I know what you’re thinking: A Molina that steals bases, not just prevents SB? Yea, he does that, too.
12. Adrian Beltre (36 HR, 33 2B, .388 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – I felt Heyward edged the 3B of Texas in the way he manned his position, and in the way he contributed on the bases, but still a great year for the guy that loves the headrubs.
11. Jason Heyward (27 HR, 21 SB, .351 wOBA, 6.6 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – Should Heyward be able to step up his game to another level in his age 23 season, he could get real scary.
10. Clayton Kershaw (227.2 IP, 9.05 K/9, 2.95 tERA, 5.5 fWAR, 6.2 rWAR) – I also struggled between JV vs. CK, but in the end, felt other peripherals not listed evened things out, giving the edge to Justin over Clayton with IP being the tiebreaker.
9. Justin Verlander (238.1 IP, 9.03 K/9, 3.43 tERA, 6.8 fWAR, 7.5 rWAR) – I really struggled where to start to include the pitchers, but here seemed like a good spot. Verlander is still good.
8. Chase Headley (31 HR, 17 SB, .378 wOBA, 7.5 fWAR, 6.0 rWAR) – If this were a “best second half of 2012” post, Headley might be #1.
7. David Wright (21 HR, 15 SB, .376 wOBA, 7.8 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – If this were a “best first half of 2012” post, Wright might be #1.
6. Miguel Cabrera (44 HR, 40 2B, .417 wOBA, 7.1 fWAR, 6.9 rWAR) – The dude’s just oozing power, and while the change of positions is a great story, the playing of the position itself must be considered in this ranking.
5. Andrew McCutchen (31 HR, 20 SB, .403 wOBA, 7.4 fWAR, 7.0 rWAR) – Worthy of being on the cover of a video game, I’m just glad Pittsburgh has had someone to cheer about.
3. Ryan Braun (41 HR, 30 SB, .413 wOBA, 7.9 fWAR, 6.8 rWAR) – Probably got a lot of flack for the PED-related stuff at the end of the season in 2011, but a 40-30 season will never stop being impressive.
2. Buster Posey (24 HR, .406 wOBA, 8.0 fWAR, 7.2 rWAR) – It’s no secret that the catcher position is an incredibly important one, and when your backstop is producing at the levels Posey is, well that warrants some respect. Bias possible.
1. Mike Trout (30 HR, 49 SB, .409 wOBA, 10.0 fWAR, 10.7 rWAR) – If 21 year olds are just getting started, in the Majors, it’s difficult to fathom where he goes from here.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that there are other teams in the NL West besides the Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks, but just because they’re at the bottom doesn’t mean they can’t derail your postseason plans. The Padres had an 8-2 stretch from Aug 3-13 before losing 3 to the Braves in Atlanta, so it’s not like they’re just lying down waiting for you to beat them. We all know the Giants will be missing their #3 hitter that’s played in 113 G this season, but with the Giants playing the Padres and the Dodgers traveling to Atlanta to play a good Braves team, there has to be a feeling that the Giants and Dodgers could still be within a game of one another when they meet up on Monday.
Friday, August 17th: RHP Matt Cain vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf
One sentence summary: Four straight starts have seen Matt Cain watch at least seven hits get put on his record while Ohlendorf has seen 6 ER boost his ERA in two of his last three starts.
Saturday, August 18th: LHP Barry Zito vs. LHP Eric Stults
One sentence summary: Barry Zito hasn’t faced the Padres in 2012 and hasn’t had a streak of 0 HR games since May (0 HR in last start); Stults has been solid in his last two outings since being tabbed a SP again going 13 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 2 BB and 8 K.
Sunday, August 19th: RHP Ryan Vogelsong vs. LHP Clayton Richard
One sentence summary: The big story last start was how Ryan Vogelsong stopped being new Ryan Vogelsong while Clayton Richard hopes to improve from his last start against the Giants when he got lit up at AT&T nearly a month ago.
Offense in the Pet Box
Buster Posey is having a great 2nd half to which you have been made aware on every night Buster Posey is in the batter’s box (.403 wOBA, 19 HR overall). Brandon Belt has been hot recently (.362 OBP, .339 wOBA overall). *By the way, a friendly reminder that if you are a Giants fan and actively root against Brandon Belt or Brett Pill, you need to re-evaluate yourself as a fan of the team.* Brandon Crawford with his PH-2-R bomb and getting on base hasn’t been too bad himself (.276 wOBA, 71 wRC+ overall). However, in the smallest of sample sizes at 13 PA in the last 7, Joaquin Arias has also been productive (.431 wOBA L7, .279 wOBA overall). If Angel Pagan (.247 wOBA L7) is going to be at the top, Hunter Pence in the thick of things in the lineup (.252 wOBA L7) and want to give the boys a chance to get over the Melky hangover, they’re going to need to turn up the production.
I look at the Padres and I feel kind of bad for how many people I’m seeing on their DL list. Guys that can do damage against opposing teams like Yasmani Grandal who’s on rehab, Huston Street, who can still put down batters, and other starting pitchers that have been shelved. As for the guys who are playing, Logan Forsythe (.524 wOBA L7, .323 wOBA overall) has been doing well at the top of the order lately, what we thought was an obvious trade chip in Chase Headley (.406 wOBA L7, .360 wOBA overall) has 4 HR in his last 7 (and 19 for the season), and more importantly is still with the Padres. Those two guys are really the only ones putting up big numbers within the past week, but remember this team has Carlos Quentin (12 HR), who has hits in 4 of the 5 games he’s played against the Giants, including his unforgettable 2-HR game. Their catchers Nick Hundley and John Baker have been ice cold and rather unproductive for the Padres in Grandal’s absence, with neither having a positive wRC+.
I’m going to go predictable here only because it just seems too obvious to me. This means my predictions should be wrong.
Friday: Giants win (Cain > Ohlendorf; Giants hitters rejoice)
Saturday: Padres win (Stults > Zito; Padres hitters rejoice)
Sunday: Giants win (Vogey shows it was just a blip)
All the while only gaining one full game on the Dodgers. Should be a decent weekend.
The Padres are 10 games into their post-ASG, having faced the Dodgers, Astros, and Rockies, and were 7-3 through those matchups they had. Speaking of the number 10, the Giants begin a 10 game homestand that includes the Padres, Dodgers, and Mets. The Giants have been pretty good taking things one game at a time since they came back from the break (or at least, most of their players have), so you hope they can continue to take care of business.
Monday, July 23rd: LHP Clayton Richard vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong
One sentence summary: A guy that’s given up a homer in six straight games (Richards) versus a guy that’s given up a homer in three straight (Vogelsong); should be interesting to see if that trend continues.
Tuesday, July 24th: RHP Edinson Volquez vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner
One sentence summary: Volquez just one-hit the Astros, so you know the rule on that is he’s due to for huge amounts of regression in his next start versus the Gigantes.
Wednesday, July 25th: RHP Jason Marquis vs. RHP Tim Lincecum
One sentence summary: Another weak lineup for Timmy to face should be sweet music to everyone’s ears, and Jason Marquis has had trouble going deeper than 6 innings into a game this year.
Always always always take small sample sizes sorta not seriously, but you’ll probably hear about these guys because of the mythical “hot bat” and I’d think they are walking into AT&T with a little bit of confidence at the very least. Chris Denorfia (.488 wOBA, .545 BABIP in last 7; .349 wOBA, .339 BABIP overall) has been doing not so bad for the Padres, as has Everth Cabrera (.422 wOBA, 40% LD% L7; .322 wOBA, 18.9 LD% overall), but that whole Padres team has been happy to see some below-average MLB pitching recently. Carlos Quentin (.383 wOBA, 9 HR) has done well over the course of his short season, and Yasmani Grandal (.367 wOBA, 5 HR in 64 PA) not so bad himself in a shorter stint. Chase Headley (11 HR, 10 SB), Everth Cabrera (18 SB), and Cameron Maybin (20 SB) all provide some of the speed for the visitors.
The Giants have had their fair share of hitters doing well, with five hitters with over a .400 wOBA in the last seven days, with a minimum of 10 PA (see how small of a SS that is?), and I wonders if you can name them: Nate (.432 wOBA L7, .318 overall, 2 HR), Crawford (.434, .273, 2 HR), Arias (.452, .276), Posey (.497, .374), and Melky (.523, .397, 2 HR). How’d you do? Nate and Crawford certainly have been surprisingly awesome recently, and you hope they can keep that up, especially with regulars like Pagan (.207 wOBA L7, .319 wOBA overall), and Belt (.114 , .317) noticeably struggling.
The Giants hate sweeping a series, so why should they start now? Well, because it’s the Padres. But you don’t play these games on paper, people! Hoping for better than what I write down, but after the ASG break, I’m 9-0 in predicting games… so there’s another SSS for you.
Monday: Giants win (get used to seeing this lineup)
Tuesday: Padres win (MadBum gets Cain’d)
Wednesday: Giants win (Timmy loves him some San Diego cookin’)
The Giants are in the litter box for a few days or as others know it, “AT&T South.” It may have another name, but currently the Padres occupy it for the time being. Three games with the 19 games under .500 San Diego Padres of San Diego. I expect them to be 20 games under when the Giants leave. Here are your matchups delivered in a new fancy way I hope you like very much:
Tuesday, June 5th: Tim Lincecum vs. Anthony Bass
Wednesday, June 6th: Madison Bumgarner vs. Clayton Richard
Thursday, June 7th: Matt Cain vs. Edinson Volquez
The matchups this way are a lot more fun to look at. Hope you likes these because I’m going to keep doing them this way.
Notes on the guys that swing a stick professionally
Guess who has the highest OPS in the last 7 days for the Giants. Guess. Come on. Did you look it up and cheat? It’s Ryan Theriot with his .480 OBP and .429 SLG% (.909 OPS)! Hot bat hot bat!
Meanwhile in 10 PA, Brandon Belt has an OBP of .500 but a SLG% of .167… slacker. Doesn’t he know base hits are better than walks! rrrrrr
Carlos Quentin in his 18 PA this year: 3 HR (in Chicago), .733 ISO, 1.855 OPS. His wRC+ is 401. Prof. Stuart Jones expects these numbers to regress!
Chase Headley in his last 12 PA: 1 BB, 4 K’s, 0 base hits.
Tuesday: Padres win (rationale: I was at a wedding the last time Timmy pitched against the Padres when they won. I will not be at a wedding tonight.)
Wednesday: Giants win
Thursday: Giants win