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.
80. Adrian Gonzalez (18 HR, 47 2B, .346 wOBA, 3.6 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR) – The centerpiece of the deal that sent him from Boston to LA, Gonzalez was below average (for him) last year, so the Dodgers are certainly hoping for the 2006-2011 versions of the 1B.
79. Carlos Beltran (32 HR, 13 SB, .355 wOBA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR) – Plays pretty well for a guy with a bad everything. Should he do something like this again next year, he will be well worth the money the Cardinals paid him.
78. Doug Fister (161.2 IP, 7.63 K/9, 4.13 tERA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Suffered a very unfortunate typo in his name, but hopefully he was not aware of that, and the former Seattle Mariner is showing he has plenty of value in Detroit’s rotation. Also glad he was not seriously hurt on that line drive off his head in the World Series.
77. Paul Goldschmidt (20 HR, 18 SB, .363 wOBA, 3.7 fWAR, 3.1 rWAR) – Arizona’s resident Tim Lincecum-masher also nearly had a 20-20 season, and he has established himself to be a force to be reckoned with.
76. Jarrod Parker (181.1 IP, 6.95 K/9, 4.32 tERA, 3.7 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR) – Can’t wait to see that changeup in action again, but Parker needs to tune down the walks to further reach that projected ceiling of his.
75. Adam LaRoche (33 HR, 35 2B, .361 wOBA, 3.8 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Must be nice to have a team with hitters that can just boom every which way. I still have nightmares about the series San Francisco had in Washington this past season.
74. Kyle Lohse (211.0 IP, 6.10 K/9, 4.20 tERA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.9 rWAR) – Still looking for a team at the moment I’m writing this, but it sure helps when your defense is behind you and you don’t walk guys, doesn’t it?
73. Nick Swisher (24 HR, 36 2B, .363 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Really hope he helps Cleveland out, because I’m tired of seeing them be bad, same way I feel for the Royals.
72. Denard Span (38 2B, 17 SB, .325 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 4.8 rWAR) – May not have pop, but Washington traded for a good CF, which along with an Adam LaRoche signing, has set in motion some Michael Morse trade discussion amongst the people
71. Albert Pujols (30 HR, 50 2B, .360 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – Pretty remarkable numbers considering The Machine did very little in April, and only one big fly in the last month of the season.
70. Josh Willingham (35 HR, 30 2B, .380 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 2.9 rWAR) – His 3-year/$21MM deal sure seems like a steal now, doesn’t it? Especially if you put 1.0 WAR = ~$5MM.
69. Josh Johnson (191.1 IP, 7.76 K/9, 4.19 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 3.1 rWAR) – Another new Blue Jay, and as long as he can stay healthy, he should be a pretty reliable starter, although maybe not the ace of the staff, especially if Dickey goes all 2010-2012 on everybody.
68. David Murphy (15 HR, 10 SB, .369 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Definitely an under-the-radar type season from Murphy, so there is good reason as to why he is projected to start in the OF for Texas in 2013.
67. Anibal Sanchez (195.2 IP, 7.68 K/9, 4.07 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 1.2 rWAR) – I’d say Anibal’s audition for Free Agency went pretty well, and should make for plenty of pitcher wins in the coming years.
66. Brandon Phillips (18 HR, 15 SB, .325 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – I did not consider his flashy plays or his twitter account in his evaluation. Had I, he would’ve been ranked higher.
65. Alfonso Soriano (32 HR, 33 2B, .350 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 1.8 rWAR) – Soriano may not have wanted a trade to the Giants due to the climate, so I do wonder whom he’s waiting for in terms of a trade partner.
64. A.J. Ellis (20 HR, .373 OBP, .341 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – What will always bother me about this guy is not even on him, but on his manager for not putting him in a better spot to have that OBP being taken advantage of. At least the pitchers had someone to bunt over.
63. Matt Wieters (23 HR, 27 2B, .331 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Looks like he’s ready to bust into the next tier of catchers with that power that he’s showing off from his position.
62. David Freese (20 HR, 25 2B, .365 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR) – I’m probably the only one with this problem, but when I think “David Freese” I only think of him in the Postseason, not what he can do to you in the regular season. My fan-side showing, I guess.
61. Hiroki Kuroda (219.2 IP, 6.84 K/9, 4.15 tERA, 3.9 fWAR, 5.2 rWAR) – You will see no tears out of the NL West that Kuroda is once again locked into playing in the AL East in 2013.
There’s a lot of talk that the American League is absolutely killing it in this year’s interleague, but would you be able to tell from the Giants experiences in the past week? Well, yes, you would. Going 2-4 in Seattle and Anaheim was not what they had in mind heading into those series, and now they find themselves facing a pretty confident Oakland team that just swept a team that used to hold the best record in the MLB.
Friday, June 22nd: RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP Jarrod Parker
One sentence summary: Of his 14 starts, Timmy has allowed 3 or less four times (29%), but has struck out 5+ in all but two (oh and don’t be surprised if no one homers off of Parker).
Saturday, June 23rd: LHP Madison Bumgarner vs. RHP Tyson Ross
One sentence summary: This will be the Giants’ time to strike, as Ross is susceptible to getting roughed up and has not gone longer than 6.2 IP in a start this season.
Sunday, June 24th: RHP Matt Cain vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy
One sentence summary: Considered hilarious by many off the mound (I think his bio is awesome), McCarthy is to be taken serious on it, as he’s allowed more than 2 ER in his 12 starts only twice (as for Cain, it’s 4X in 13 starts).
Small Sample Sizes (Last 7 Days) and Season Stats
As one of the many that was excited about Belt in the offseason following the euphoria that was 2010, it’s nice to see him come through at the dish here in 2012, even if it is a bit of a slow start. A .470 wOBA with a 47.7% LD% in the last week are pretty encouraging despite 0 HR, and his .345 wOBA overall is only 4 points behind Buster Posey. Most days, I’d talk about Pablo Sandoval not pulling his weight (sorry) with the .270 wOBA in his L7 and the 12 game no-HR streak he has going, but Angel Pagan (.162 wOBA, -6 wRC+) and Gregor Blanco (.138 wOBA, -23 wRC+) have been scuffling pretty bad this past week. The 1 and 5 spots are pretty vital to a lineup’s success, I’d say, so if they’re going to occupy those spots, they gotta get back up to the above average wRC+ they’ve been used to posting this year.
Josh Reddick has 15 HR this year, but much like Gregor Blanco, has been weak in his L7 with a .136 wOBA (.357 overall) and 0 HR, but you know what’s interesting is two players on the A’s have worse wOBA than that: Brandon Inge (.119, .320 overall), and Kurt Suzuki (.087, .235 wOBA overall). All three of those Athletics have a BABIP and batting average in the last seven of worse than .100. You know they swept the Dodgers, so they’ve got to have some guys doing well: Jonny Gomes (.628, .368 overall, 1 HR L7), Coco Crisp (26% BB% + .457 wOBA compared to 10% + .269 overall), and Brandon Moss (2 HR, .400 wOBA alongside his 7 HR, .476 wOBA in 51 PA overall) are hitting pretty well. Gomes is more of a platoon guy though, so you probably won’t see him until tomorrow.
My confidence in this team isn’t all that high right now, but when you have MadBum and Cainer going for you, you know they’re going to give you a chance to win. The only question is, how silenced will the Giants bats get against another American League team?
Friday: Athletics win (would really appreciate being wrong here, Timmy)
Saturday: Giants win (not a lot of variation in speed for Tyson could be what gets the Giants bats going)
Sunday: Giants win (the best game being saved for last)