Extreme Makeover: Shocker Home Edition

by on February 22, 2011   No Comments

The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew rolled into the Wichita State Campus on Thursday.  Everyone was invited to Eck Stadium for the big surprise.  It was announced via Ty Pennington’s blow horn that former Shocker baseball player Carl Hall would be receiving a new home.

2011 Rookie of the Year Predictions

by on February 21, 2011   2 Comments

The Rookie of the Year award is as important to the player as well as the franchise for which he works. Having a different player from the same team challenge for the award year in and year out is a great sign for your organizational depth. In 2010, both leagues had great races for the award. The Detroit Tigers had two players—Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch—seemingly poised to take the trophy at the start of the year, winning top rookie honours in April, May, and June. They eventually lost to Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers. In the National League, there was a two man race between Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, with Posey eventually winning out.

This season, there is another crop of hopeful winners. Here are my picks for the award as well as a dark horse in each league. There are a ton of potential impact rookies this season, so I won’t attempt to list them all. Feel free to comment and tell me how foolish I was to not list Kyle Drabek (Toronto Blue Jays), Jesus Montero (New York Yankees), Mike Moustakas (Kansas City Royals), Brandon Belt (San Francisco Giants), Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves), Mike Minor (Atlanta Braves) and/or any other top prospect expected to get playing time that I have missed.

Wild Card Teams

by on February 14, 2011   4 Comments

Last season’s Wild Card winning franchises are no strangers to success. The New York Yankees have failed to make the playoffs just once—in 2008—in the last 16 seasons. The Atlanta Braves returned to the playoffs, after missing five seasons in a row, but before that they had made the playoffs in 14 straight seasons. They differ in the amount of money they spend on their teams, with the Braves at a modest $86 million while the Yankees are paying their players a whopping $196 million.

It’s Fantasy Season

by on February 7, 2011   No Comments

For reasons that haven’t made themselves clear yet I am unofficially marking today as the opening of Fantasy Season. Recently, last year’s booms and busts(yeah yeah, you got Cargo in the 14th. I’ll put it on your epitaph) have been discussed over cold beers and crisp, clean fantasy magazines with only the faintest beginnings of chicken-scratched notes. And because I spent more of Superbowl Sunday preparing for drafts that are still over a month away than I did watching football, I feel obligated to share findings, musings and other points of interest with the readers of this post. Both of you.

In Fantasy Baseball there are few things to brag about. It’s a rarity for an owner to completely dodge the three headed monster of slumps, injuries and woulda-coulda-shoulda draft choices. You either win or you made a great pick that you can still brag about in the off-season or keep for next year. I can hear the Pavlovian drooling at the thought of my notes so we better get down to it.

East Division Playoff Teams

by on February 7, 2011   No Comments

In 2010, the best teams in all of Major League Baseball came from the East Division in each league. Both divisions were home to the wild card winners, the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees. They were also home to baseball’s two best records, 97 by the Philadelphia Phillies and 96 by the Tampa Bay Rays. What fate awaits the monsters of last year’s regular season? Will these teams once again be playing in October?

The simple answer for the Phillies is yes. In fact, anything short of a second World Series championship in four seasons—having won in 2008—would be an utter disappointment. A starting rotation like the Phillies had last season made Charlie Manuel’s managing job easy. His club posted 14 complete games, the most in the Major Leagues. Managing a bullpen is certainly easier when your starters are going deep into games. This will not change for Manuel as he will still have the three staff aces; Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels, who carried Philadelphia to the playoffs.

Central Division Playoff Teams

by on January 31, 2011   No Comments

Last season, Major League Baseball’s Central Divisions came from different directions. In the American League, the Minnesota Twins won the division, just like they have six of the last nine seasons. The Cincinnati Reds, on the other hand, found their way to the top of the division for the first time in 15 years. Both teams were disappointed during the playoffs, losing in the divisional series.

Brown’s Baseball End-Of-The-World Predictions

by on January 26, 2011   5 Comments

It’s no secret now that the world is going to end in 2012.  Both the holy-roller/end-time folks and secular scientists are talking about it, and it’s time that we accept this new reality.  The newest signs that the end is near, is the Giants won the World Series and the Yankees want to move Jeter to the outfield.  The book of Revelation eludes to the Yankees moving Jeter to the outfield in the “end times”, I think it’s in chapter 11.  So, since 2011 could be the last baseball season ever, here are my baseball end-of-the-world predictions for 2011.

New Professional Baseball Tryouts

by on January 25, 2011   No Comments

The Traverse City Beach Bums (www.tcbeachbums.com) of the Frontier League will be hosting a tryout at the Indiana Baseball Academy (www.indyiba.com) on Saturday, March 26th starting at 1 P.M.  For more information on 2011 professional baseball tryouts as they are announced, become a premium member of Five Tool Prospects.

West Division Playoff Teams

by on January 23, 2011   No Comments

Last season, teams from MLB’s two West Divisions won their respective pennants and made it to the World Series. This season, neither the San Francisco Giants nor the Texas Rangers will be flying under the radar. The expectations for both teams will certainly be higher than seasons before. What have these teams done to meet or exceed these expectations?

The Giants won the World Series on the strength of their young pitching staff. They were counted out before each series, including the final series against the Rangers, yet still prevailed. As a result, they will be expected to win.

San Francisco Giants Top Ten Prospects

by on January 22, 2011   3 Comments

In terms of prospect development, the San Francisco Giants are one of the most underrated teams in baseball. After winning the World Series last season with several home grown players, that may begin to change. And it should. Many of the players on their World Series roster were developed by the Giants farm system. Based on their current line-up of prospects, the team looks to get better with time. A new drafting philosophy over the past several seasons has found success and is the reason their system is as deep as it is. After a season which saw Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey graduate to the majors, it is safe to say the Giants farm system is close to as strong as it was before last season.