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.
I shouldn’t need to remind you about the weekend that was, and Ryan Vogelsong even is suggesting the Giants should play a little angry, which I agree would work better than playing defeated, which is what they looked like in the last halves of the last two games they played. Not lost though on Giants fans will be the homecoming of RHP Ramon Ramirez and all-around nice guy OF Andres Torres, whom everybody was sad to see go from a personality perspective. From a baseball player perspective, I thought it was time to move on and agreed with Sabean’s move for Pagan. The ovation fans give to Torres today in the 1st inning should be nothing less than moving. After all the tears though, the Giants need to get into a winning-the-series mindset with their rivals to the South in a hey-this-winning-thing-isn’t-that-difficult thinking. The Mets have 3 SP on the DL (Johan Santana, Dillon Gee, Mike Pelfrey), which is why you might see guys with not that many IP under their belt this year.
Monday, July 30th: RHP Jeremy Hefner vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner
One sentence summary: Hefner just put in 6 against Washington for his first start since June 6th and struck out 7 while only seeing 2 Nationals crossing the plate while he was out there, giving his team a very real chance for victory.
Tuesday, July 31st: RHP Matt Harvey vs. RHP Tim Lincecum
One sentence summary: Matt Harvey baffled the DBacks hitters, and hopefully the Giants have seen the video on this guy, especially since the adrenaline for Harvey shouldn’t be there as much as it was for his MLB debut.
Wednesday, August 1st: LHP Jon Niese vs. RHP Matt Cain
One sentence summary: The only other healthy Mets SP with over 100 IP (R.A. Dickey the other) has had a rough July with these ER per each start in that month: 7 (CHI), 1 (WSH), 3 (LAD), 6 (AZ).
Thursday, August 2nd: RHP Chris Young vs. LHP Barry Zito
One sentence summary: If you’re excited to see these two pitchers duke it out, you’re the only one.
How about some offense?
The Mets as you might remember, were hanging around the top half of the NL East for a while, but then injuries and regression set in and here they are at four games under. Interesting to note that some of their colder guys for the season are the ones that are doing their best to carry the team. Ike Davis (.484 wOBA & 6 HR Last 7 days, .305 wOBA & 20 HR overall) is the scariest bat right now, and Andres Torres is even doing his part (.403 wOBA & 21.7 BB% L7, .303 wOBA & 14.4 BB% overall). It wouldn’t be right if a Hairston wasn’t doing well, and Scott has a little somethin-somethin going (.403 wOBA L7, .349 wOBA overall) and as you see, is actually having a pretty decent season as well. They have four guys with double digit HRs — Ike Davis (20), David Wright (16), Scott Hairston and Lucas Duda (12), but only two guys with double digit SBs in David Wright (11) and Andres Torres (10). David Wright also had a crazy high BABIP and AVG to start the year off but has predictably fallen and now stands at .332 and .365, respectively. Oh by the way, the Mets are also 2-8 in their last 10 games.
The Giants however are a remarkably better 4-6 in their last 10, with an offense that got shut out in two straight games, in case you hadn’t heard. To nobody’s surprise, the Giants only have one guy with a wOBA over .350 in their last seven days, and two above .300 — this is the time where you incorrectly guess the two: Buster Posey (.385, .374 wOBA overall), and Brandon Belt (.336, .318 wOBA overall). I would’ve got half the answer wrong, too, don’t worry. The Mets may be just the trick to awaken the Giants bats with their being prone to being lit up, or you know, this could be where the Mets get closer to .500 due to facing a cold set of bats. This should be a series the Giants can at least split, but science says that if the Giants continue to score 0 runs for their pitching, they will not win any games. You’re welcome for that hard-hitting analysis.
Monday: Giants win (While fans shed tears for Andres Torres, Mets shed tears watching their hitters get beat by Bumgarner)
Tuesday: Giants win (Harvey’s 2nd start goes nothing like his 1st; Giants only add a reliever before the deadline)
Wednesday: Giants win (Closest game of the series shows the fans something can bounce their way)
Thursday: Mets win (Zito-Whiteside connection doesn’t work)
I’m an optimist, I know.
We are approaching a third of the season gone by, so it’s becoming about time to consider All Star Game roster considerations. The sample sizes are larger, but I’d still prefer MLB wait to open voting until mid-June since so many people have access to the internet the general public is perfectly capable of voting for their favorite player 25 times in a span of 2-3 weeks. These picks consider numbers up until today, and are not projections as to what they’ll do through June/July. I promise this post won’t be all Giants. Promise.
C: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
I’m going with the guy with more HR, a lower K%, higher SLG%, wOBA, and wRC+ than AJ Ellis, who gets a lot of attention in this region.
Reserves: Jonathan Lucroy (only his BB% and OBP are worse than Ellis), AJ Ellis
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
Don’t mind him, he’s just walking around (21.0% of the time) beasting the competition. .321/.465/.590 line with a .447 wOBA and a 185 wRC+.
Reserves: Bryan LaHair (10 jacks, but a 30% K% rate), and yes you’re reading this right — Adam LaRoche (the only other NL 1B with over a .500 SLG%)
2B: Omar Infante, Marlins
This guy had a hot start and he’s actually been holding up his numbers, since he’s the only NL 2B with over a .200 ISO, .500 SLG, and .400 wOBA
Reserve: Jose Altuve, who I stupidly traded away in my fantasy league
SS: Rafael Furcal, Cardinals
The BABIP may be up there, but he’s leading the pack in a lot of categories like the batting line except for SLG (3rd), and I know he doesn’t have the pop that someone like Troy Tulowitzki might have
Reserves: Jed Lowrie, Ian Desmond, Tulo
3B: David Wright, Mets
He’s blowing everybody out of the water WRIGHT NOW (HA!) with his numbers — .390/.489/.604 with a .453 wOBA, 194 wRC+. It’s beautiful. Yes I know it will regress but still.
Reserves: Pablo Sandoval, Chipper Jones, David Freese (OK I might have too many guys on the roster, so sue me.)
OF1: Matt Kemp, Dodgers. You haven’t forgotten about him, have you? .368 ISO, .726 SLG%, 12 HR, .473 wOBA, 207 wRC+. Wowzers.
OF2: Ryan Braun, Brewers. 13 HR, .300 ISO, .612 SLG%, .425 wOBA, 172 wRC+.
OF3: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals. omg he hatez the giants how could you include him u looser. 14 HR, .304 ISO, .422 wOBA, 172 wRC+. Will need an injury replacement.
Reserves (5): Andre Ethier, Andrew McCutchen, Martin Prado, Melky Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton off your bench. OFF THE BENCH.
Not a bad roster, if I do say so myself if it had to be made today.