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.
The National League was up first discussing guys like Ryan Braun, Buster Posey, and Yadier Molina were discussed by MLB Network, and Andrew McCutchen as well as Chase Headley had some discussion from the crowd in a very underrated and underreported race for the NL MVP. And it went to:
Buster Posey! Or as we like to call him around these parts: #MVPosey.
Posey garnered 27 of the 32 first place votes, and only one third place vote from a writer in Chicago. Half of his second-place votes came from Milwaukee voters who chose Braun for the MVP on their ballot. Posey was at a party for what he said was a charity event his wife was putting on. It is well recorded that in two of Buster’s three seasons, and in both of those seasons in which he’s been healthy, he has carried his team to the postseason, and the World Series where they would achieve the dream. As proud as I am to have this guy on the team I root fot most, the only thing I can think about right now is how that price tag of his is going up up up. No doubt it will be a goal of the ownership to make Posey a Giant for as long as possible whether it’s done taking out arbitration years to a monster contract, or taking it year-by-year and then signing the MVP to a monster contract.
Then there was the AL MVP, which wasn’t talked about that much so who cares who wins this one, right? Just foolin. Unfortunately this seemed to turn fans against each other and made for an “old school vs. new school” narrative that became nauseatingly old at a Billy Hamilton pace. In the end, let’s not forget the award does not change our opinion on these players and both of these guys are spectacular players for their teams and for baseball. And the much publicized result:
Of course my feeling is that the voters got it wrong, but this was an incredible time for baseball to become exposed to more advanced metrics than it probably cared for. The debate between the two is not over, but the writers have spoken for this year, and the title goes to the Triple Crown winner from Venezuela.
So now hopefully we can move on to talk about other baseball things, like how does our favorite team trade for Mike Trout. Go for it, Bleacher Report.
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.
Ryan Braun used an illegal substance. We don’t know yet what is was, but it’s something that’ll likely reward him with a 50-game suspension.
But some guys really know the right things to say when it comes to baseball. Did you know Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is a big thinker in the baseball community? Now you do:
In case you were wondering, here’s what he did, because the good Senator does remember Braun did some work against AZ:
But I don’t care about that. I want to know what you think:
Discussion and disagreement are part of sports life, and after reading a post from @BayCityBall (http://www.baycityball.com/2011/10/02/my-postseason-rooting-order/) I thought this would be a good post for today. The idea is of course, there are eight teams in the postseason and if we had to rank who you would root for, what would that order be? Everyone’s list will be different and who can blame them? There’s some attractive talent (both on the field and in the dugout) for us to be amazed and stupefied at.
1. Tampa Bay Rays – expansion team, lost to the Phillies in 2008, came from a huge deficit to defeat one of the more despised franchises in baseball. They have lovable characters like Evan Longoria, One-A-Day 50+ sponsor Joe Maddon, Madison Bumgarner pitch-a-like Matt Moore (alike in that the Rangers couldn’t touch either of them). Shoot, their version of Eli Whiteside even hit two HRs against CJ Wilson. Awesome
2. Texas Rangers – When the Giants and the Rangers met up last year in 2010, you had a ratings nightmare: no Yankees? no Red Sox? no Phillies? We’ll just have Joe Buck and Tim McCarver do this one. Nobody’s watching, anyway. You also had two franchises starved for a World Series trophy. The Giants got their portion in 2010, but the Rangers were left hanging and from what I heard, the Rangers were very classy in defeat. Their exciting players are mostly hold bats and hit HRs for a living, their staff has the experience of winning so the jitters should be mostly out of the way.
3. Detroit Tigers – The playoff team I probably know the least about. I guess they’re like the Tampa Bay Rays or a Texas Rangers-lite on offense and some other team with their pitching. Justin Verlander? Hot. Jose Valverde? He should make a dance instruction DVD. As for everyone else? Whatever, just beat the Yankees.
4. St. Louis Cardinals – Just beat the Phillies, Tony La Russa. Use your craftiness when you get back home to even the series at 2 or something. Sprinklers, stadium lights, rain dance, Buffalo Wild Wings commercials, whatever. I laugh a little that Rafael Furcal is on this team.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks – They’re not far down on the list because I despise their team; really, I’m OK with them. Justin Upton, Chris Young, Aaron Hill, Kirk Gibson. I think he’s done a great job with the team and GM Kevin Towers a wonderful job rebuilding the bullpen. I don’t want them winning the World Series because I don’t know why, but I don’t. I may have this fear that winning the WS would convince idiots to vote Ian Kennedy for Cy Young even though it’s just a regular season award. Edit: Forgot that ballots are submitted before the post-season. Therefore, Kennedy performance in post-season will not change likelihood of getting Cy. Their twitter account is annoying as babies on a plane, by the way.
6. Milwaukee Brewers – I am very not fond of a certain player on their team that claims to have an alter-ego that rhymes with “Phony-Flush.” I do not want to see him happy. Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but no one’s perfect. I’m not too fond of Prince Fielder, either, but TofuMan doesn’t both me as much as the current CF. I like Ryan Braun. I like John Axford.
In between 6 and 7, please note that there’s a gap larger than the 6 hour drive from Long Beach to San Jose I have to endure at least twice a year.
7. Philadelphia Phillies – I have a strong dislike for the Phillies. They have become the Yankees of the NL. I will laugh at them in 2015 when they are still paying Ryan Howard $25MM to strike out with a sandwich in his mouth.
8. New York Yankees – Look, they have exciting players. They’re the freaking Yankees. But the only time you want a team like that to win is when: a) it’s your team or b) you’re playing a video game and you’ve constructed a super team that isn’t possible in real life and you don’t have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings.
In 2012, the list will be different. Buster ain’t havin’ it.