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.

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.

Cubs Make Questionable Move

by on January 9, 2011   2 Comments

During the winter meetings I quipped to a couple of friends that the Cubs should find someone willing to take Carlos Zambranos contract and use the return and whatever else needed to trade for either James Shields or Matt Garza. The Yankees apparently had interest in Zambrano but nothing ever materialized and even if it did Carlos has a full no-trade clause in a contract  more bloated than his waistline. However, this didn’t stop the Cubs from pursuing part two of my idea and dealing for Matt Garza. To the casual fan acquiring a pitcher of Garza’s caliber while not giving up any noteworthy big leaguer seems like a win, but a deeper look into the prospects shows the Cubs may have overpaid. While Garza immediately becomes the number one in Chicago he does not bring “ace” stuff to the mound consistently. A career ERA a shade under 4 to go along with good K and walk rates is nice, but the past two seasons Garza has ran into home run problems, allowing 28 and 25.  And on a windy day Wrigley field is well known for making pitchers cry like little girls, though that could be the combination of Old Style and listening to Ronnie Woo Woo.

The Best Team in Baseball – Tampa Bay Rays

by on April 30, 2010   One Comment

Who leads the MLB in runs scored, the AL in ERA, and has a team fielding percentage of .984?

That would be the best team in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Rays are near the top in almost every statistical category both offensively and defensively.  With the pick-up of Rafael Soriano, the Rays patched their achilles heel over the past couple of seasons – the back-end of the bullpen.  The only problem so far is, they haven’t needed him.  The Rays have scored 142 runs this year and only allowed 72, so Soriano hasn’t had a ton of important innings yet, only locking down 5 saves.