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.
40. Jimmy Rollins (23 HR, 30 SB, .322 wOBA, 4.9 fWAR, 2.3 rWAR) – You’ve got the picture now that I love HR and SB when put up in big bunches, and J-Roll, though 33 already, still’s puttin’ out.
39. Miguel Montero (15 HR, 25 2B, .364 wOBA, 5.0 fWAR, 3.7 rWAR) – Wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona fans feel MM is underappreciated. Definitely not talked about as much when we talk about “good catchers.”
38. Chris Sale (192.0 IP, 9 K/9, 4.06 tERA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Turning 24 at the end of March, some scouts worry about this guy’s delivery, but hopefully Sale will continue to produce and not get injured.
37. Prince Fielder (30 HR, 33 2B, .398 wOBA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – Yea, defense kills him also, but that offense is just so hot, it’s no wonder he’s locked up through 2020.
36. Bryce Harper (22 HR, 18 SB, .352 wOBA, 4.9 fWAR, 5.0 rWAR) – Kid turned 20 in October. Really tried to not use his age to rank, but I might be guilty of that here.
35. Yu Darvish (191.1 IP, 10.4 K/9, 4.02 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Not a bad campaign for the “rookie” out of Sendai, and this is probably the guy I wish I would have watched more of. Maybe this year I’ll do that.
34. Joe Mauer (10 HR, 31 2B, .376 wOBA, 5.0 fWAR, 4.1 rWAR) – Just hoping Head & Shoulders is back in the game and ready to mash, especially with that monster contract of his.
33. Matt Holliday (27 HR, 36 2B, .378 wOBA, 5.1 fWAR, 3.9 rWAR) – Who’d have thunk that Holliday would be higher on this list than old buddy Pujols in 2013? Certainly not me.
32. Stephen Strasburg (159.1 IP, 11.13 K/9, 3.34 tERA, 4.3 fWAR, 2.7 rWAR) – Ranking SS was very tough because it’s not his fault the Nats shut him down, and I tried not to extrapolate what he was going to do and just take what he did and rank that. Could be too high, considering most everyone else got through the full season. Maybe it’s just right.
31. Carlos Ruiz (16 HR, 32 2B, .398 wOBA, 5.5 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – For how long he was using a substance to help him focus is unknown to me, and maybe it was helping him all year, but that’s not something I feel comfortable speculating on.
30. Torii Hunter (16 HR, 24 2B, .356 wOBA, 5.3 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – I do feel kind of bad for him with how things ended in Anaheim, but I think he’ll be happy in Detroit.
29. Austin Jackson (16 HR, 10 3B, .371 wOBA, 5.5 fWAR, 5.2 rWAR) – Someone said to me in the midst of the World Series the Tigers only had two guys in their lineup to fear. Austin Jackson then started his Rodney Dangerfield act, pointing to his regular season numbers.
28. Ian Desmond (25 HR, 21 SB, .362 wOBA, 5.4 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Really difficult to decide between him, Jackson, and Hunter, but the 20-20 thing is just too sexy.
27. Giancarlo Stanton (37 HR, 30 2B, .405 wOBA, 5.8 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – He will enter his age 23 season in 2013, and he did all that in 501 plate appearances. Scary to think that he could get stronger.
26. Martin Prado (10 HR, 17 SB, .345 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – Often overlooked because he doesn’t clear the fence more often, Prado is a solid utility player that hasn’t quite seen his payday yet, but hopefully he will get his.
25. Alex Gordon (14 HR, 51 2B, .357 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 6.2 rWAR) – I could see people having a beef with me ranking Gordon too low, but if he gets stronger, those doubles might be going down and turning into dingers.
24. Zack Greinke (212.1 IP, 8.48 K/9, 3.58 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 3.3 rWAR) – The lefty has a new home in LA, but made due with the Milwaukee and other “LA” team he worked for in 2012
23. Ben Zobrist (20 HR, 14 SB, .365 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – Another year of Ben playing multiple positions, and he still churns out the numbers that make him a solid attribute to the club. Good thing they have two team options on him for 2014 and 2015.
22. Joey Votto (44 2B, 19.80% BB%, .438 wOBA, 5.9 fWAR, 5.6 rWAR) – Even if he wasn’t 100%, he still ended up being a big contributor to the NL Central Champs.
21. Gio Gonzalez (199.1 IP, 9.35 K/9, 3.34 tERA, 5.4 fWAR, 4.5 rWAR) – Homey needs to bring that walk rate down, but to have this guy and him not be the #1 in your staff is pretty telling of what the Nationals have.
The Phillies have all the normal faces back in the lineup and in their rotation that you’re used to seeing, but luckily the Giants get to miss Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee while they throw out 2 of the 3 weaker links on their rotation, but especially with Cliff Lee not being involved this weekend unless something crazy happens (a la Roy Oswalt Game 4), this is another winnable series — for both sides, of course.
Friday, July 20th: RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP Vance Worley
One question summary: Timmy’s thrown up 0’s against the Dodgers and the Astros recently, but can he establish his fastball against a team with a more respectable offense?
Saturday, July 21st: RHP Matt Cain vs. LHP Cole Hamels
One sentence summary: Insert redundant comment about how we’ll see this matchup more in the coming years when Hamels resides in LA.
Sunday, July 22nd: LHP Barry Zito vs. RHP Joe Blanton
One sentence summary: The Giants just faced a guy that gave up 20 HR (Mike Minor) and that just happened to be the day he threw darts for strikes and hopefully Joe Blanton doesn’t copy that.
The Offensive Perspective
Carlos Ruiz (.424 wOBA, .365 BABIP, 27.4 wRAA, 14 HR) has done a ton of the work for the offense this year, which unfortunately hasn’t come through for their starting pitchers and relief corps enough to be 52-41 team as opposed to the 41-52 team they are today. Then again, if the Giants scored more runs for their pitchers, their record would kick so much tail, too. Hunter Pence isn’t doing too bad himself (.351 wOBA, 17 HR, 12 GIDP). Juan Pierre (21), Shane Victorino (21), Jimmy Rollins (14) is where Philadelphia gets its speed from, and I know these are all names you’re probably familiar with for one reason or another. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley just got back so if they can do damage, the Phillies might have to change course in terms of buying/selling, but the question is if it’s too late.
Meanwhile, for the team whose fanbase is getting mocked and yelled at by angry Braves fans disputing the un-racist ways of “The Chop,” the guy who was catching the most heat from their fanbase, Melky Cabrera (.395 wOBA, .391 BABIP, 9 HR, 10 SB), continues to lead the way for an offense that enjoyed two games of 9 runs scored in that Atlanta series. Buster (.372 wOBA, 11 HR, 12 GIDP) also is swinging it well this season, as is the Panda (.361 wOBA), but I’m still looking for more bombs out of him, as is everybody else. Speaking of bombing, do you know who’s second in GIDP to Posey with 10? If you guessed Joaquin Arias, you’re either really good, or a really big cheater. Brandon Belt is mystifying people to the point where trade talks are being proposed by fans after the game today, and I’d bring up monthly splits, but it hurts. We shall see, and remember that trade deadline is July 31st.
I’m impressed that I’ve been right with all 6 games thus far this post-All Star Break. Perhaps while I’m in Vegas this weekend (which might control my inability to post a series preview for the Pads-Giants series that starts Monday), I’ll put money on the Giants to win. Nah.
Friday: Phillies win (Ryan Howard parties)
Saturday: Giants win (Matt Cain Matt Cain’s Cole Hamels)
Sunday: Giants win (Joe Blanton can’t stop with the big flies)
Have a good weekend, everybody, and enjoy all the 2010 NLCS replays that are bound to show up.
Starting from last week, I try to start off my morning with a little stat searching through Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. Since this morning’s stuff would definitely not fit in 140 characters, I thought I’d make a post of it. This morning’s stat focuses on the leaders in the different types of pitches batters see, that starting pitchers, and relievers throw. We’ll start off with the hitters:
Fastball: Jemile Weeks (69.5%, Athletics)
Slider: Rickie Weeks (26.6%, Brewers)
Cutter: Alcides Escobar (12.5%, Royals)
Curveball: Ike Davis (19.3%, Mets)
Changeup: Jimmy Rollins (18.9%, Phillies)
Fastball: Bartolo Colon (87.9%, Athletics)… next closest is Justin Masterson at 79.1%, then Ross Detwiler at 72.9%!
Slider: Ryan Dempster (41.4%, Cubs)
Cutter: Roy Halladay (45.1%, Phillies)
Curveball: Wandy Rodriguez (29.4%, Astros)
Changeup: Mark Buehrle (32.8%, Marlins)
The relievers (this may be the most interesting set):
Fastball: Kenley Jansen (94.4%, Dodgers)
Slider: Luke Gregerson (58.8%, Padres)
Cutter: Bryan Shaw (84.5%, Diamondbacks)… next closest is Mike Adams at 50.5%!
Curveball: Brett Myers (39.9%, Astros)
Changeup: Jared Burton (36.8%, Twins)
Jimmy Rollins reiterated that he wants his 5 years. He’s earned them, gosh darnit! He’s the best shortstop on the market, too! Here’s a general summary of what will happen, by use of pictures and not-so-comical dialogue: