Teams are coming up on the 30 game mark in the season and, typically, this is when players start to show numbers that reflect how the first half of their season is going to go. So we’re going to do a follow up of our apparently really popular Opening Day Notes post, which if you missed, you can find here —>http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/04/03/opening-day-notes/
- With the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon, people everywhere, particularly in Boston needed someone or something to turn to, baseball was that something. Read about it here —> http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/04/17/baseball-backs-boston/
- What in the world did Chris Davis eat. He has cooled off recently but goodnight talk about going from a nobody to a superstar overnight, Chris Davis launched himself into super-stardom. In case you missed a good read about his hot start, you can find that link right here –> http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/04/08/is-chris-davis-the-next-babe-ruth/
- All Star balloting has officially begun and votes are already pouring in, curious to see how we think the All Star game goes? Read about our prediction right here —>http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/03/30/all-star-game-victory-who-will-it-be-this-year/
- How about the Royals and the Rockies, they are both on top of their respective divisions. After looking through about 100 predictions from just about everywhere I think it’s pretty safe to say that nobody saw that coming.
- To go along with outstanding starts, tons of “baseball experts” are already changing their playoff predictions. We, however, understand how sample size works so we are sticking to our guns and not changing any picks. If you forgot our picks, take a look here —> AL http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/03/28/6/ —> NL http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/03/28/2013-national-league-predictions/ —>Playoffs http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/03/28/2013-mlb-playoff-predictions/
- In rather sad news, Danny Espinosa shaved his beard. Pretty bummed about that but with the Nationals somewhat struggling, the trim could help the team focus on winning games and not being caught up in everyone thinking they’re going to make the playoffs.
- And in even sadder news there are people saying Bryce Harper is a lock for MVP. Two things bad about that: First, he’s not leading in any offensive category. Second, sample size which you can read about here —>http://baseballs28thout.mlblogs.com/2013/04/18/statistics-sample-size/
- A lot of stadiums are down on attendance, Fenway even lost their sellout streak, don’t worry everyone, your favorite team isn’t all of a sudden unpopular (Unless you’re a fan of the Marlins). April and May always post low attendance numbers because family’s can’t come to games because of the kids’ school nights.
- Let’s end this on a great note. April 15th was Jackie Robinson Day and one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in baseball happened that day. The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2, which as I type it out, 4-2 looks like 42, Jackie Robinson’s number. Anyway, in that game, the winning run, which was the 3rd run, was scored by Derrick Robinson wearing #42. So on Jackie Robinson Day the winning run was scored by a man with the last name of Robinson wearing #42.
1.) Jose Reyes (Blue Jays) – Managed to stay healthy last year and swiped 40 bags. He is a solid all around former batting champion. We all know the speed of Reyes and now, we’re going to see how much he really means to the Blue Jays.
2.) Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) – Assuming his groin injury is in the past, Tulo will be back dropping bombs on the greater Denver area. The Rockies are filled with young prospects who are all but ready, which means if Tulo looks hurt at all, he’s going to sit.
3.) Starlin Castro (Cubs) – A head case to say the least, but he can sure swing a nice stick. If he gets it together he has the potential to be a 20 HR -30 SB player. Be thrilled that defense doesn’t count in fantasy leagues.
4.) Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers) – Drops on the list from #2 to #4 because of his injury. If this is a precursor for what happens during the regular season there is going to be a lot of frustration from the Dodgers and fantasy owners alike.
5.) Ian Desmond (Nationals) – If he repeats his 2012 he is easily a top three shortstop. However, his career numbers say Desmond’s 2012 was nothing but a fluke. If he can prove doubters wrong, he will be considered one of the elite in the game today.
6.) Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians) – Talks of being shipped out of Cleveland surrounded Cabrera all winter long. He has a good amount of power, but he is prone to strikeout and he is more know for his fielding than his batting.
7.) Elvis Andrus (Rangers) – His numbers were down last year, but Andrus is capable of a of 30 HR and 100 Runs. Hopefully the pressure from Profar propels Andrus to have a career year.
8.) Alicides Escobar (Royals) – .293 avg, 52 RBI, 68 Runs, and 35 SBs are all good numbers for a shortstop, however there is absolutely no power in Mr. Escobar’s bat.
9.) Erick Aybar (Angels) – Aybar has the potential for 30 SBs, but it took him most of the season to bust out of his sophomore slump. He won’t really benefit from Hamilton’s addition because Aybar will most probably bat lower in the lineup.
10.) Derek Jeter (Yankees) – Always great numbers for the Bronx Bombers captain, but the now oft injured Jeter could play a shortened season due to injuries and Eduardo Nunez.
1.) Andrelton Simmons (Braves) – potential ROY, showed some pop in the 49 games he played in last season. The Netherlands sure enjoyed his talents.
2.) Jean Segura (Brewers) – Will start at short for the Brewers this season. They saw enough in him to deal Greinke for him, time for him to come through.
3.) Evereth Cabrera (Padres) – Not the greatest average and no power, but could steal 50 bases which is great for any team.
4.) Zack Cozart (Reds) – Cozart will most probably hit 7th in the Reds potent lineup relieving him of the pressures of hitting leadoff.
5.) Jurickson Profar (Rangers) – Will start the year in AAA, but will be called up well before September. A super-prospect for the Rangers.
1.) Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) – The 34 year old will have a tough time repeating his 2012 season. His best attribute, speed, has greatly decreased.
2.) Alexei Ramirez (White Sox) – 65 runs doesn’t make up for a .287 OBP. Low OBP yields low offense numbers
3.) Rafael Furcal (Cardinals) – Will miss the entire 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery. Even if he comes back, Kozma is ready to start.
4.) Stephen Drew (Red Sox) – A terrible average with no power on a poor team with a new manager…anything else?
5.) Brandon Crawford (Giants) – known for his outstanding defensive play. Struggles hitting the broadside of a barn.
Second Basemen Rankings
1.) Robinson Cano (Yankees) – Aside from the awful performance in the HR derby and 3-40 playoffs, Cano has separated himself as an elite 2nd baseman. Hopefully he gets back to his .313 avg, 33 HRs, 94 RBIs, and 105 Runs scored.
2.) Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) – Very solid offensive threat who swings a very smooth stick. The BoSox need him to be at the top of his game if the expect to finish anywhere but last in the AL East.
3.) Brandon Phillips (Reds) – Self-proclaimed “ya favorite athlete’s favorite athlete”, Dat Dude BP was the 2nd most consistent second baseman behind Cano. Needs to use Choo’s high OBP to his advantage.
4.) Jason Kipnis (Indians) – Who? His average is nothing short of, well, average, but his 30 stolen bases and the pop in his bat make up for his average. Could benefit from Bourn and Swisher coming to the Indians.
5.) Ben Zobrist (Rays) – Super utility helps Zobrist get playing time. Oh yeah, and the 20 HRs, 74 RBIs, and 88 Runs help too. Another big improvement for Zobrist was his 2011 1.66 K/BB ration dropped to 1.06 K/BB in 2012.
6.) Ian Kinsler (Rangers) – Only positive stat that rose from 2011 to 2012 was his average…by .001. Still a franchise player with 19 HRs, 72 RBIs, and 105 Runs. Let’s see how long he stays at 2nd.
7.) Aaron Hill (Diamondbacks) – Is he finally over the hill? .302 avg last year says ehhh, look at previous years. However, 26 HRs says alright, I’ll draft ya.
8.) Jose Altuve (Astros) – Last years big sleeper notched 33 swiped bags, 8o Runs, and hit at a .290 clip. Let hope he doesn’t hit a sophomore slump and come up “short” in 2013.
9.) Howie Kendrick (Angels) – A 3-year average of .284 avg, 12 HRs, 68 RBIs, 70 Runs, and 14 SBs get Kendrick on the list. He could potentially benefit from the Angels stacked lineup, but don’t expect much over his average numbers.
10.) Danny Espinosa (Nationals) – He needs to put an end to his sophomore slump. Following a great breakout year in 2011, Espinosa disappointed fantasy owners across the board in 2012. However, his 15 swats and 15 swipes get him on the list.
1.) Josh Rutledge (Rockies) – 7 swipes in as many attempts in 73 games. Great things for this young man in his future. Will start for the Rocks.
2.) Donovan Solano (Marlins) – Big hype prospect who also has 7 swipes in as many attempts. He’s got speed in a huge ballpark.
3.) Steve Lombardozzi (Nationals) – Added OF to his list of positions last year. Needs to get regular player time and more power.
4.) Logan Forsythe (Padres) – .273 avg in first full-ish season. All around good prospect looking for playing time.
5.) Brian Dozier (Twins) – His minor league numbers were great, his rookie numbers, not so much. Has potential to be a good asset.
1.) Chase Utley (Phillies) – Chondromalcia isn’t some foreign country or a phobia, it’s Utley’s injury. Hard to be good when you’re always injured.
2.) Neil Walker (Pirates) – Bothered by a herniated disk. Only had 1 HR in 320 ABs against RHP. Not good numbers at all.
3.) Dustin Ackley (Mariners) – A whopping .226 avg in his first full season in the bigs doesn’t bode well for this season.
4.) Rickie Weeks (Brewers) – A .230 avg, declining numbers on a declining team in a strong division.
5.) Marco Scutaro (Giants) – Don’t let the post-season heroics fool you. Had a sub-par regular season last year, expect the same this year.
First Basemen Rankings
1.) Joey Votto (Reds) – With Choo and Phillips hitting before him in the line up it will give Votto more chances to drive in runs. Based off of his spring and willingness to participate in the World Baseball Classic, Joey’s knee is just fine. Look out.
2.) Prince Fielders (Tigers) – The big guy’s strikeout numbers were way down (compared to his previous years). Cabrera will most likely hit in front of Fielder which hurts Fielder because of the likeliness of the bases being cleared by Cabrera. Needs HR numbers to go back up.
3.) Albert Pujols (Angels) – Remember his 110 ABs without a home run? His .305 avg, 36 HR, 102 RBIs say you on’t remember his slow start. With the addition of Hamilton and Trout’s great numbers, pitchers will have to pitch to Pujols.
4.) Allen Craig (Cardinals) – Craig quietly hit 22 moon shots while driving in 92 runners last season playing in just 119 games. Berkman’s departure opens the door for Craig to play upwards of 150 games.
5.) Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks) – 18 stolen bases and very aggressive base running (tagging on shallow fly balls) puts Goldschmidt as a quality asset to any team. As far as power, expect around 20 HRs.
6.) Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers) – For Gonzalez to have big numbers the guys around him are going to have to hit pretty well. Fortunately for Gonzalez, he has Kemp, Ramirez, and Ethier (for now) hitting around him.
7.) Adam LaRoche (Nationals) – Are 33 HRs with 100 RBIs a fluke? Probably. Can he do it again? The Mike Morse-less Nationals need him to if the Nationals expect to contend with the hard hitting Braves.
8.) Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays) – 2012 was a great year for Edwin. Can the Encarnacion reincarnation carry over into 2013? The rejuvenated Blue Jays are hoping so.
9.) Freddie Freeman (Braves) – The only reason Mr. Freeman is making this list is because of his potential and who is batting around him. Freeman has an opportunity of a lifetime and needs to prove himself this season.
10.) Kendrys Morales (Mariners) – He found his stroke with the Angels towards the end of 2012. If that carrier over into 2013 with the Mariners, Morales could have a great year at the recently shrunken Safe-Co Field.
1.) Brandon Moss (Athletics) – Had a great 2012 over shadowed by teammates Reddick and Cespedes. Will start for the A’s.
2.) Brett Wallace (Astros) – Has a chance, just a chance, to rip the relatively poor AL West pitching, but has to prove himself.
3.) Garret Jones (Pirates) – The Bucco’s 1B will most probably bat behind McCutchen which will greatly help his numbers.
4.) Tyler Colvin (Rockies) – Hit .290 last year as a super-utility player. Helton’s age and health could give Colvin more playing time.
5.) Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) – Perhaps underrated on this list, but needs to prove his 15 HRs and 48 RBIs wasn’t just a 1/2 season thing.
1.)Mark Texiera (Yankees) – Admitted he is too old for what he is being paid. Old man of an old, oft-injured Yankees lineup.
2.) Ryan Howard (Phillies) – Bigger health risk than a 90 year old. Always near the top in strikeouts. Not worth declined power numbers.
3.) Corey Hart (Brewers) – Off-season surgery has already shortened his season. Not enough weapons around him to boost his numbers.
4.) Eric Hosmer (Royals) – Guess who was in my top 10 in 2012. Guess who flopped. Perhaps too highly touted.
5.) Brandon Belt (Giants) – Belt only belted 7 yard shots in 145 games. Really needs to improve his power numbers.