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.
60. Matt Cain (219.1 IP, 7.92 K/9, 3.60 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – In the battle of Cain v. Kuroda, if you really value WAR, you’ll take Kuroda, but the FIP and tERA speak to me more, as does Cain doing the work in one less start than Kuroda.
59. Elvis Andrus (31 2B, 21 SB, .322 wOBA, 4.2 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Imagine if this kid can get the bat going more, and he will be a talent that not just demands, but deserves the 9-figure deal.
58. Jose Reyes (37 2B, 40 SB, .335 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 2.8 rWAR) – I almost had a pretty neat string of 2013 Toronto Blue Jays going, but I think Jose will have a great time frolicking with an organization that isn’t made of pure Snakeinthegrass.
57. James Shields (227.2 IP, 8.82 K/9, 3.52 tERA, 4.3 fWAR, 2.2 rWAR) – Though he may be one of the better pitchers in the game, I think it is reasonable to worry about whether he will be what the Royals traded him for (their ace).
55. Josh Hamilton (43 HR, 31 2B, .387 wOBA, 4.4 fWAR, 3.4 rWAR) – Forever will be remembered by me as “the guy that didn’t hit enough HR” in 2012, or for his 2011 Game 6 HR that really should have given Texas a Title.
54. Melky Cabrera (25 2B, 10 3B, .387 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR, 4.7 rWAR) – Like Chooch, not sure how much the PED helped Melky, but Toronto is certainly willing to find out.
53. Edwin Encarnacion (42 HR, 13 SB, .396 wOBA, 4.4 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – Maybe everybody’s hitters should take some time in Toronto over the off-season to get coached to find a new timing mechanism to get them the power. We’ll get to see if this was a fluke year, or if him and Joey Bats are just getting started.
52. Dustin Pedroia (39 2B, 20 SB, .344 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – His glove is what gets him here, along with his low K numbers, power, and speed at a position not known for such attributes.
51. Ryan Zimmerman (25 HR, 36 2B, .352 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR) – Like Peavy, it was good to see Zimm healthy for most of the season, and reminded the people that he can be an integral part of a championship-level team.
50. Jake Peavy (219.0 IP, 7.97 K/9, 3.99 tERA, 4.4 fWAR, 5.0 rWAR) – Maybe he’s returning to his San Diego performance days, and I know the White Sox are certainly hoping so as well.
49. Adam Wainwright (198.2 IP, 8.34 K/9, 3.72 tERA, 4.4 fWAR, 5.9 rWAR) – Had he a better defense, and better run support, he probably would have been a bigger competitor in any award he was eligible for. Nearly a 0.80 difference between his ERA and FIP.
48. Adam Jones (32 HR, 16 SB, .361 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR, 3.4 rWAR) – Speaking of walks, Adam Jones does not, but he provides the boom as a replacement. May be a problem as he gets older, but he just completed his age 26 season.
47. Wade Miley (194.2 IP, 6.66 K/9, 4.11 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Just a rookie, Miley did a great job keeping the walks down, as it’s hard to find many of the top starters on this list that had lower than a 2.00 BB/9.
46. Angel Pagan (15 3B, 29 SB, .334 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Giants fans are just glad he got out of his slump in the leadoff spot well in time for the later months and postseason run.
45. CC Sabathia (200.0 IP, 8.87 K/9, 3.87 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 3.3 rWAR) – And all that was done in 28 starts, too, which is the same amount of starts Strasburg had.
44. Johnny Cueto (217.0 IP, 7.05 K/9, 3.91 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 5.8 rWAR) – Had Cueto kept up his first half dominance, he probably would have run away with the Cy Young Award.
43. Josh Reddick (32 HR, 11 SB, .326 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR, 4.5 rWAR) – Shocked that he was healthy a whole year, Reddick proved to be a fantastic surprise of healthiness for the surprise AL West Champs.
42. Max Scherzer (187.2 IP, 11.08 K/9, 3.71 tERA, 4.6 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – I was debating how he and Cueto should match up, and a lot of people might sight his ERA, but I’m not sure why the awful defense behind him should give the edge to the NLDS Game 1 SP from Cincy.
41. Cole Hamels (215.1 IP, 9.03 K/9, 2.75 tERA, 4.5 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Every time I see “Cole Hamels” all I think is “Coal Hammels,” and I have even once typed in “Hammels” on accident.
Four consecutive series with teams in the top two of their division have made/will make for more exciting baseball around the Bay, but things are about to get hot, especially if you’re going to go to check out the boys in DC and Pittsburgh. The Nationals have just got off of playing in Colorado and Atlanta, and their bats were certainly alive and well. This will be a series the nation has their eyes on as the NL West and NL East leaders square off in the nation’s capital.
Tuesday, July 3rd: RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP Jordan Zimmerman
One sentence summary: The biggest thing Giants fans may be talking about is not necessarily the pitchers, but that Hector Sanchez may bump Brandon Belt out of the lineup, whose bat was loud against the Reds.
Wednesday, July 4th: LHP Madison Bumgarner vs. RHP Edwin Jackson
One sentence summary: 8AM PST start should keep things cooler, but the North Carolina boy shouldn’t find anything foreign about that summer weather.
Thursday, July 5th: RHP Matt Cain vs. LHP Ross Detwiler
One sentence summary: Detwiler has the lowest LD% of the starters at 13.4%, so hopefully the solid contact the Giants get is very loud.
Small Sample Sizes (Last 7 Days) and Overall Numbers
The Nationals have 13 HR from their players in the last seven, while the Giants have had only 2. Does it help to have faced Colorado? Sure, but you still have to hit ’em. Ian Desmond (.568 L7 wOBA, .340 wOBA overall), Michael Morse (.520, .317), Jesus Flores (.505, .284), Tyler Moore (.493, .437 in 68 PA), and Ryan Zimmerman (.485, .291) have all been smiles recently but as you see, most of these guys might be due for some cooling down once they face the likes of Timmy, MadBum, and Cain. The star prospect turned starting OF Bryce Harper (.247, .356) will have a challenge on his hands in getting back on track, even as he has 8 HR already (would be 2nd on the Giants to Buster).
The Giants haven’t had anyone with nearly as ballooned wOBA as the five Nats listed earlier, and you may know Buster (.441, .367) has been the guy doing the most damage, but he’s also grounded into 3 double plays in the last 7 (11 overall). Melky also has a decent wOBA going both in his last 7, and overall (.419, .390), and is one of the two guys that has homered in the past week (Pablo being the other). Gregor Blanco’s actually been flying out to the infield in nearly half his AB in the past week (42.9%), and the guy who we got to read about today in Carl Steward’s article has actually been kind of lackluster recently with the stick (.194, .267). Both squads will have their hands full with the guys opposing them on the mound during this mid-week series.
You may have noticed that these three games will all be solid matchups, and you may have heard that the Giants don’t even get to face Stephen Strasburg or Gio Gonzalez during their time in DC! Does not mean this series will be easy, just not as difficult on paper.
Tuesday: Giants win (just enough offense to support Timmy)
Wednesday: Giants win (MadBum makes All Star case)
Thursday: Nationals win (Cain doesn’t bounce back just yet)
Should be an exciting series for the baseball fan, but the organizational fan might find their hands on their heads more often than not.