A lot has happened in the World Baseball Classic over the past 24 hours, and you’ve probably seen it all, but you like to visit my blog and see the stuffs, right? Right.
Beginning with the wild one in Italy and Mexico, and no doubt Edgar Gonzalez has become a household name in households that watched this game, had a pitch hit by Anthony Rizzo to him off of San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo. All Gonzalez had to do was catch the ball, and the damage would be limited to a tie ballgame. Instead…
However, this game did end with one team being happy, and everybody loves it when an underdog team is really happy (as long as they’re not being happy against your team), and Italy was plenty happy.
Oh, by the way, they just mercy ruled Canada 14-4 in 8 innings to make them 2-0 and are on their way to a trip to Miami for the next round.
I take you next to San Juan, Puerto Rico where the Dominican Republic and Venezuela locked horns in a battle of recognizable names. Robinson Cano had a nice beginning of a double play to glove flip it to Jose Reyes. Watch and love:
Hanley Ramirez also destroyed a baseball in the game and decided to watch it go:
…and you know I love the bat flips:
Fernando Rodney also doesn’t care what you think of how he wears his cap.
A good response from Keith Law to people that are upset about how Rodney wears his lid:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) March 8, 2013
The beautiful thing about this tournament at this stage of it is that there’s so much going on right now, and what day of baseball wouldn’t be complete without some call for instant replay? Curt Smith of the Netherlands had himself a moment:
My favorite part being the, “K, let’s get on with the gam–out? out. OH OUT! Yes! Ahem. Yes.”
Baltimore Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop also had himself a day, including this 3-R HR that put the Netherlands up for good:
Talk about someone that’s had his stock get a bit raised in the eyes of the public, and he is already on the Orioles’ 40-man roster.
The game after that one that saw some see-sawing late in the game from Chinese Taipei and Japan ended with some fun for Japan, and a way of thanking from the Chinese Taipei squad that I really liked.
First, Sho Nakata acknowledges the crowd as he jogs out to the outfield in the bottom of the 10th, who were celebrating his go-ahead sacrifice fly (Japan was the visiting team, being the #2 seed from the Pool they advanced from).
After the game, Chinese Taipei thanks the fans in a fashion I wouldn’t mind seeing more often:
As for the action today, Italy beat Canada 14-4 in 8 innings at Chase Field (moved indoors due to rain outdoors), and Spain and Puerto Rico are squaring off in San Juan right now. the US and Mexico will begin play at 6PM PST tonight on MLB Network.
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.
The metrics I used for hitting and pitching may be a little predictable for the people that know me, but I’ll tell you what I valued most, especially for those that will have disagreements with my rankings:
- Home Runs
- Stolen Bases
- Strikeouts per 9 innings
- fWAR (Fangraphs’ version) and
- rWAR (Baseball Reference’s version) — here’s a short article on the difference
I’ll start posting the rankings in sets of twenty tomorrow (both for readability and site hit reasons), going backwards,starting with 100th through 81st. To get an idea of what the stuff will say, let me post some “honorable mentions” (“HM”) of what you’ll see of a couple batters and pitchers alike.
HM. Starlin Castro (14 HR, 25 SB, .323 wOBA, 3.3 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Entering only his age 23 season in 2013, writing a Castro report and looking at his numbers are making me wonder why I didn’t put him in the top 100. His focus on the game always seems to be the story, but if/when this kid fills out, it should be pretty what he produces.
HM. Billy Butler (29 HR, 32 2B, .377 wOBA, 3.2 fWAR, 2.9 rWAR) – Ol’ “Country Breakfast” has had his helping of potatoes (ok, I’ll stop), his power on display for the world to see. Even has a couple stolen bases to his name so there are worse cloggers out there, but the bat would be perfect for the DH spot.
HM. Matt Harrison (213.1 IP, 5.61 K/9, 4.76 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 6.2 rWAR) – Keeping out him will probably be what Texas fans will consider the biggest snub, and I can see why with WAR. Using FIP and tERA primarily, I don’t get it, and I’m probably not looking at all the numbers as I should.
HM. Jake McGee (55.1 IP, 11.87 K/9, 1.88 tERA, 2.0 fWAR, 1.8 rWAR) – I don’t know why, but this is the first time I remember seeing this kid’s name, so I have no visual scouting report of this kid to offer (not that’d it’d be any good anyway). His numbers are so impressive, if Fernando Rodney ever lost his job as “closer,” I think the Rays are not in the worst shape in the world.
Hope everybody enjoys the rankings.