American League Power Rankings

by on March 21, 2011   No Comments

Baseball’s regular season is quickly approaching, and that means the first edition of this season’s power rankings.

These rankings will be unique in a couple senses. One, they will only look at one league at a time. And two, the top three teams will represent the three divisions. After all, those are the teams that will make the playoffs in the end. This is the American League edition of the power rankings. The National League rankings will be available when you check back here next Monday.

After the preseason rankings, the American League rankings will appear on the last Monday of the month and the National League power rankings will appear on the first Monday of the month. Stay tuned, enjoy and as always feel free to comment!

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.

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.

Top 10 Pitchers in MLB doesn’t include Cliff Lee

by on December 19, 2010   10 Comments

Cliff Lee is the envy of his teammates these days, particularly those on his own pitching staff; two of which are better pitchers with smaller salaries.  Actually, the signing of his new 5-year, $120mm contract with the Phillies is the envy of the entire baseball world since he doesn’t even crack the top 10 starting pitchers in MLB, and he wouldn’t even be in the conversation if he wasn’t left-handed (he didn’t even crack the top-10 in WAR in the AL last year, let alone MLB, and the Rangers made the playoffs in spite of his average performance down the stretch, not because of it). Controversial statement?  Read my list of the top 10 pitchers in baseball and you decide where he should be.

Cliff Lee? Really?

by on December 11, 2010   28 Comments

Even though I’m the Braves writer here, I have to speak up.  This Cliff Lee stuff is getting out of control.

Does a guy who can throw a baseball really merit $161 million dollars?  Well, of course not.  But that’s not my argument… that’s a different article altogether.  The baseball market these days involves high dollar contracts… like really high dollar contracts, and that’s just the way it is.  The question is – in today’s baseball market and age, does Cliff Lee really deserve a 7 year $161 million dollar deal?  Heck no.

News and Rumors: Upton, Beltre, Lee, Werth

by on November 18, 2010   4 Comments

Justin Upton trade rumors

This past spring, I wrote a short piece praising the Arizona Diamondbacks for signing young star outfielder Justin Upton to a 6-year, $51.25 million contract.  At the time, Upton was coming off a strong 2009 campaign, where he batted .300 while hitting 26 home runs, driving in 86 runs, and stealing 20 bases in just 138 games.

Upton regressed a bit during the 2010 season, but the 23-year old still had a fine season, batting .273 with 17 home runs, 69 runs batted in, 73 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases.  Upton’s numbers dropped in most major statistical categories (Upton’s walk rate rose, which is a good sign, however.), but they weren’t drastic enough to warrant any kind of panic.

When news first broke that the Diamondbacks were willing to discuss dealing Upton, it seemed like nothing but a rumor.  Perhaps it was just the Arizona front office, saying those things to let everyone know that no one is safe, warning players to not get too complacent.

But on Wednesday, Jayson Stark confirmed that Arizona GM Kevin Towers is indeed willing to discuss deals that would move the face of the franchise, saying that the Diamondbacks are “genuinely open” to moving Upton.

But why?  Why consider trading away a young outfielder who appears to have the kind of tools to build a team around?  It makes very little sense, having a young outfielder that is the caliber of Upton, who is signed to a very team-friendly contract.

The chances are slim that Upton is moved, as reports indicate that Arizona is looking for a very large haul of top of the line prospects who can help them both now and in the future, but there is still a chance that the younger of the Upton brothers gets moved.

ALL MLB TEAM (Pre-Season 2010)

by on March 8, 2010   9 Comments

Imagine another planet like Earth that also played baseball (or something along those lines, it won’t work for countries because I’m choosing the best of the best for an all MLB team which consists of players from many countries).  Who would you choose to be on your 25 man roster?   Would you choose the best overall player, the young and upcoming prospect that might save your franchise (e.g. “Jesus” Strasburg, I mean Stephen), the big game playoff performers, or your favorites from your team?  Who would you want to manage these superstars?  This is a list of those players and that coach.  However this list does not include your typical bullpen because I am doing this as more of an All-Star of All-Star’s team (or how players are chosen come All-Star time).  There are thousands of players to choose from with the options and possibilities being almost infinite.

Top Fantasy Players in AL West

by on March 5, 2010   One Comment

Here is a look as to who I believe would be the best player available at each position from the AL West in 2010 Fantasy Baseball.  There are only four teams in this division so there are not as many choices as is the case with the rest of baseballs division’s but there is still plenty of talent.  Also included on the list are five close call players or quality backups worth having on your team from out west.                                                                                                                 

Philadelphia Phillies 2010 Preview

by on February 15, 2010   One Comment

Three straight National League East titles, two consecutive NL pennants, and a World Series championship.  Those are the credentials for this Philadelphia Phillies ball club.  A couple of former MVPs, a few Gold Glovers, countless All Stars, a formerly perfect closer, and a former Cy Young award winner, who are all in the prime of their careers.  For this Phillies team, the time to win is now.  And winning is what they’ve done lately.