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Okay. I know what you guys are thinking. Especially you, Mets fans. He’s still a solid player when he’s healthy, but that four letter word previously mentioned is the most important thing you’ll read this entire article; when. Wright has played just 38 and 37 games over the past two seasons and has played north of 112 games just once since 2013. SO, I pose this question. Should Mets move on from David Wright before he’s most remembered for his injury history when he should be praised for his play? I say yes.
It’s undeniable fact that Wright is one of the Mets greatest players in its franchise history and definitely the best over the last decade or so. Offensively, Wright is the franchise leader in hits, runs, RBI, total bases, doubles, walks, and WAR. He’s second in games played and second in home runs as well. Stats matter sometimes, and although they don’t tell you the entire story, it shows the great years Wright has put forth for a very storied franchise.
But the amount of years Wright has been in the league I briefly touched on in the paragraph above is what is coming around to bite Wright in the ass. The Captain is now 34-years old and father time is knocking on the door. Most recently, Wright has come down with another injury, this time in his shoulder. It’s hindering his throwing ability so he’ll be shut down until further notice, putting opening day in question. According to MLB.com, Doctors believe the injury has something to with the neck surgery he had last June. Yikes.
Anytime one injury directly connects with another, the status of that player going forward simply doesn’t look good and it doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t make me feel comfortable with that player moving forward, as the thought of injury will linger in the back of my mind every single time he’s involved in the game at all. As I mentioned in the intro, Wright’s played just 75 games over the past two seasons, so beginning the season on the disabled list is less than ideal for an already injury-prone player.
As for Wright’s production on the field, here are his numbers from 2014-’16;
- 209 G
- .266/.339/.396/.735 slash line
- 20 HR
- 94 RBI
- 96 R
Those numbers are really solid for a 162 game campaign. Unfortunately for the third basemen, it’s 209 games, and it’s over a three-year span. He’s never had elite power, but what power he did have has virtually evaporated. At this point, when healthy, Wright is a glorified singles hitter with enough sauce to shoot one into the gap at times. Maybe even channel his inner Rey Ordonez and belt one out of the park like Rey did 12 times during his career.
The Mets window is closing by the day and just in 2015, they proved that they can go the distance even without their captain manning the hot corner everyday. It’s obviously different in 2017 than it was two years ago due to the team’s roster construction, but bringing in someone who will be on the field and contribute every game is key.
Wright’s production and glory years, so to speak, won’t go unnoticed if he were released, traded or waived. That being said, the Mets should consider it in my opinion. Father time catches up to everyone — except Bartolo Colon — and he’s having a chat with David Wright a lot sooner than everyone thought.
By this time most people are ready for their draft, but the most important time in all fantasy baseball years comes soon after most drafts. Your “dream team” isn’t going to last and the choices you make to fill those holes will make or break your season. Here’s five players to possibly make filing those holes easier.
5. Nate Jones
Jones will likely be drafted in some leagues if the Nationals get off their ass and get a closer, but if he’s not you have to keep an eye on him. One of the most underrated relievers in baseball had a great season in 2016. He posted an ERA in the low twos and a strikeout rate around 10, but where his upside lies is in his ridiculous pitch selection. He has sinker that averages 97 mph, a Greyson Allen dirty slider and a change up/curve combo that can buckle hitters. Imagine that as a closer and then you can start imagining what he can do for your fantasy team.
4. Josh Hader
Another pitcher on this list, but in a completely different role. Hader threw just nine innings last year in the big leagues and he may not start the year with the big league club. Lets be honest the Brewers aren’t going to compete this year let the kids get a chance. Hader is young and has control issues at times, but there is no doubt he could be special if he can pound the strike zone. By June or July his great strikeout rate may be worth a look to fill some sort of hole on your team if the Brewers give him a opportunity.
3. Ryan Zimmerman
Okay, before you laugh Zimm still has a chance to be a big league contributor. He needs to stay health, but if he can get a little more lift on his swing that 94.1 mph average exit velocity will result in more home runs. He won’t likely be drafted to start the year and will have to prove that he can stay health to earn a spot on most fantasy teams. With that being said if he’s batting .270 with 10 home runs entering June I am sure he wont still be on the waiver wire by the time you get around to take a look.
2. Robert Gsellman
This guy will require an injury or trade to make any sort of real impact this year, but it’s the Mets. One of those mustachioed pitching studs is going to have some sort of weird arm problem and Zach Wheeler may be starting that train early. Gsellman has a strong four pitch arsenal and ended last year with 2.42 ERA in eight appearances with the Mets.He could be a solid piece to fill in for a bit if you need that extra pitcher. I wouldn’t keep him on my team for long, but the Mets haven’t had a bad pitcher in a while.
1. Manny Margot
This may be a Roto specific add or he could be the 2017 Trea Turner for the whole year. Hes got 65 grade speed and has never stolen less than 30 bags in a year and in 2014 and 2015 he had 39 bases per year across levels. If he does nothing but steal he will be a valuable piece for Roto, but he can hit too. A solid bat, plus speed and a clear opportunity points to future fantasy star. This year will be the last year that you may find him on a waiver wire and you can do MUCH worse than Margot to fill a hole on your team.
Some of these players may get drafted in some leagues, but these guys could easily keep your team stable if you end up fucking your draft up or if injures do the job.
* Pitch speed stats from Brooks Baseball and other stats from Fangraphs.
Neither the National or American league have one player currently running away with the MVP race. There are four, maybe five guys in each league that will likely continue to challenge one another for the award. The Mike Trout’s and Bryce Harper’s of the world are two of the names that will probably end up challenging for the award by seasons end. But with that said, there’s a dude in Texas who is flying completely under the radar that has been as valuable as anyone in the league. His name is Ian Desmond.
Offensively, Desmond has done a little bit of everything thus far in 2016. Here are his American League rankings:
- Hits (88) – tied for 3rd
- Doubles (19) – tied for 6th
- Runs (51) – tied for 6th
- RBI (46) – tied for 10th
- SB (13) – tied for 4th
- AVG (.313) – 7th
- OBP (.365) – 16th
- OPS (.870) – 15th
- WAR (2.9) – 14th
If Desmond continues on the pace he’s played at, he’d end the season two hits shy of 200, score 115 runs, hit 43 doubles, 25 home runs, drive in 104 RBI and swipe 29 bags. All that while hitting north of .300, with an OPS near .900. This is all happening just a year after hitting .233 and a lot of people wondering if he’ll ever be an everyday player once again. Desmond has been especially good in the friendly confines in Arlington, as he’s strumming his guitar to a tune of .366 at home.
Where Desmond has made his money this season is when runners have been on base. With nobody on base, Desmond has hit just .252 this season but when at least one person’s on, he’s lighting opposing pitching up, hitting .398. Even more impressive is his .343 average with runners in scoring position. In 70 at-bats with RISP, Desmond has driven in 32 runs. His ability to come up clutch for the Rangers this season has helped them achieve the best record in the AL currently.
When Desmond signed in Texas, he knew Elvis Andrus was their shortstop as he agreed he would move to the outfield. In his seven professional seasons prior to 2016, Desmond had played 7.1 innings in the outfield. He has a .983 fielding percentage in center field which is right on par with the league average and already has five assists from the OF, putting him 11th in the entire league in that category.
When we think about the Texas Rangers, the first names that come to mind are Fielder, Hamels, Beltre and Darvish. All of a sudden, not a single of those aforementioned cornerstone players have been as valuable as Ian Desmond has for the Rangers this year. Don’t be surprised if Desmond is fighting for the award comes years end.
Let’s not forget where the Rangers were 72 games into the season in 2015. With virtually the same construction of the roster, they were 37-35, four games out of first place. 72 games into ’16, the Rangers have the best record in the American league at 46-26. It isn’t only because of Desmond and his fantastic first-half, but it is a very big reason as to why.
1) Texas Rangers
- Notable acquisitions: Justin Ruggiano, Ian Desmond
- Notable losses: Yovanni Gallardo, Mike Napoli, Leonys Martin
Strengths: When Texas convinced Ian Desmond to sign on to playing left field for them, it officially gave the team the perfect balance in their lineup. Texas has some big boppers in the heart of their lineup, but they can steal bases and hit for a high average. They have depth off of their bench as well, especially if and when Josh Hamilton returns. Looking up and down the Rangers lineup, I don’t see any holes.
Weaknesses: This could be a stretch because the Texas rotation could be somewhat dominant, but past injuries could loom large. Yu Darvish missed all of last year and Derek Holland missed a large portion of it. Both have to prove they’re at full strength. Colby Lewis also had a very unexpected season in 2015 and I’m not sure it’s realistic that he’s a 17-game winner again in ’16. Like I said, the rotation could be just fine, in fact dominant, but there are questions that have to be answered before we proclaim them the perfect team.
Team MVP: Prince Fielder
W/L Prediction: 93-69
2) Houston Astros
- Notable acquisitions: Ken Giles, Doug Fister
- Notable losses: Mark Appel, Chris Carter, Scott Kazmir
Strengths: Houston’s strength is their youth. There oldest everyday player is 30-years old. That’s still in the midst of their respective prime. The middle of their infield is the best in the game and we’ve only gotten half a season out of them together. Each member of their outfield can hit for power, play plus defense and steal bases. Houston is young, fun, entertaining and should win a lot of games in 2016.
Weaknesses: Like their strength, their youth could also be their weakness. Let’s look at Game 5 against the Royals in last year’s ALDS. They had the series wrapped up in a bow, but everything came unraveled for the young ‘Stros. They’ve learned what it’s like to lose the hard way which should help this team build character and respond well in the face of adversity. Key word in that last statement was should. It may have crushed them in all crunch time situations. We will have to wait and see how it plays out.
Team MVP: Carlos Correa
W/L Prediction: 90-72
3) Seattle Mariners
- Notable acquisitions: Steve Cishek, Wade Miley, Nori Aoki, Joaquin Benoit, Adam Lind
- Notable losses: Carson Smith, Logan Morrison, Leonys Martin
Strengths: The Mariners rotation has a lot of interesting arms hat should carry their team for the 2016 season. Resigning Hisashi Iwakuma was huge. As we getting Wade Miley in a trade with the Red Sox. Taijuan Walker and James Paxton are the most intriguing of the bunch. Both have an immense amount of talent but both are unproven at the big league level. The Mariners success could ride on how well both Walker and Paxton pitch in 2016.
Weaknesses: The Mariners have a strong infield heading into the 2016 season, but the outfield has a lot of question marks. With Nelson Cruz likely moving over to DH full-time, the outfield doesn’t have a real identity. None of their guys hit for much power or for average for that matter. Matter of fact, not one of the top four outfielders on Seattle’s depth chart had north of 355 at-bats last season. Who’s going to be the leader of this crew when it’s all said and done?
Team MVP: Robinson Cano
W/L Prediction: 83-79
4) Los Angeles Angels
- Notable acquisitions: Yunel Escobar, Craig Gentry, Andrelton Simmons, Cliff Pennington,
- Notable losses: Erick Aybar, David Freese, Mat Latos
Strengths: Mike Trout, Fish Boy, Trout, Mike. Whatever you want to call him, he’s the Angels strength. The Angels haven’t exactly surrounded Trout with a lot of help, so Trout is going to have to put together an astronomical season in order for Angels to compete for a playoff spot. And if anyone can do it, it’s Trout. He’s currently the face of baseball and expect nothing short of greatness for Trouty once again in ’16.
Weaknesses: As it was mentioned in the strengths, management has exactly helped Trout in terms of putting really good pieces around him. Other than Trout, Pujols and Calhoun, the Angels have no real power threats. They also don’t have a true leadoff hitter or anyone that will wow you with their ability to spray the ball over at the field at the dish. They need Trout, Pujols and Calhoun to really provide them with an insane amount of production. We shouldn’t expect Yunel Escobar’s addition to mean that much. I doubt he can do anywhere close to what he did last year again in 2016.
Team MVP: Mike Trout
W/L Prediction: 77-83
5) Oakland Athletics
- Notable acquisitions: Henderson Alvarez, Ryan Madson, John Axford, Yonder Alonzo, Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Chris Coghlan
- Notable losses: Brett Lawrie, Drew Pomeranz, Ike Davis
Strengths: The Athletics aren’t going to be very good in 2016, but they do have a plethora of outfield depth. They honestly have four-to-six guys that could start at any outfield spot. The three that will start – Davis, Burns and Reddick – have a great combination of speed, average and power. When one of them need a day, Coghlan, Crisp and Fuld can provide them with an day off.
Weaknesses: Other than Sonny Gray, Oakland’s staff is really going to struggle. Nobody on the staff other than Gray made north of 21 starts last season. With some high-powered American League offenses this year, the A’s staff is going to run into some problems. They have a lot of depth in the outfield I’m sure some teams would be interested in. Acquiring a starter or two wouldn’t be the worst idea Billy Beane would have.
Team MVP: Sonny Gray
W/L Prediction: 75-85
Toronto Blue Jays
- Notable acquisitions: J.A. Happ, Jesse Chavez, Drew Storen
- Notable losses: David Price, Ben Revere, Mark Buehrle, LaTroy Hawkins
Strength: There is no doubt that the middle of the Jays order keeps the team’s heart beating. There 2-3-4 hitters all hit 39 or more homeruns just a year ago. It’s the closest thing to Murderers row we’ve had in a long time. Navigating through the Jays lineup is a disaster as a whole. Numbers six and seven hit a combined 41 homeruns last year so even if you get through the mashers in the middle, the back end can beat you too.
Weakness: The starting rotation is going to be a big problem for the entire division, including Toronto. They’ll finally get a full year of Marcus Stroman as their ace which is a positive, but question marks swirl around the rest of the rotation. Estrada, Dickey and Happ are solid, but the latter two are pretty inconsistent. Happ, in my opinion, was overpaid. He was brought in as the three or four starter but is being paid like a front end of the staff pitcher. The lineup will provide plenty of run support for these guys, but getting used to that will bite them where the sun don’t shine if the lineup gets shut down.
Team MVP: Josh Donaldson
W/L prediction: 90-72
New York Yankees
- Notable acquisitions: Starlin Castro, Aroldis Chapman, Aaron Hicks
- Notable losses: Brendan Ryan, Adam Warren, Chris Young, Justin Wilson, Rookie Davis, J.R. Murphy, Stephen Drew
Strength: The best aspect of the entire Yankees team is their bullpen. The back end of the bullpen to be more specific. They arguably have the best 7-8-9 in baseball. The Yanks starters didn’t give them any depth last year, something that is likely to happen again in 2016. If that’s the case, the Yanks need to virtually have a perfect ending to every game they have a lead in.
Weakness: The Yanks pause for concern is something that I mentioned in the strengths – the starting rotation’s lack of depth. Most fans figured Brian Cashman and the rest of Yankees management would improve the rotation during the offseason, but that hasn’t been the case. Instead, they chose to improve their bullpen to shorten games. But you still need have starters that can get that insane back of the pen a lead. The rotation is full of question marks. What will C.C. Sabathia provide? Will Masahiro Tanaka sustain another year of good health? Will 2015 sensation Luis Severino be on an innings limit? All questions that will be answered once the season begins.
Team MVP: Jacoby Ellsbury
W/L prediction: 89-73
Boston Red Sox
- Notable acquisitions: David Price, Chris Young, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith
- Notable losses: Justin Masterson, Rich Hill, Wade Miley
Strength: Boston has a refreshingly young and talented team that is probably a year or two away from being a championship contender. There are so many names you can rattle off that makes it so exciting to be a fan of the Red Sox, and so painful for everyone else in the division. Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley Jr., Swihart, Rodriguez, Castillo, and that’s just at the Major League level. That fountain of youth is surrounded by a solid foundation of players that will help mold the future of the Sox, but also help them win games now.
Weakness: Yes, I understand they landed David Price, so I’m really talking about the rest of the Red Sox rotation. The rotation after Price has as many question marks surrounding it as the rest of the division’s staffs, minus Tampa’s. Clay Buchholz is bound to get injured at some point during the season and who knows if Rick Porcello decides he wants to use his sinker to his advantage and keep the ball off of Yawkey Way. David Price adds wins to this team, as does the bullpen, but without a consistent rotation, I don’t see more than a Wild Card spot for Boston.
Team MVP: Mookie Betts
W/L prediction: 85-77
- Notable acquisitions: Mark Trumbo
- Notable losses: Steve Pearce, Wei-Yin Chen, Gerardo Parra
Strength: Baltimore’s main strength revolves around three names – Jones, Machado and Davis. Those three alone can carry an offense, and honestly a defense with how well all three pick it on that side of the ball as well. Machado is coming off a monster year and has risen to super stardom like we expected him to. Davis just resigned a long term deal that has him receiving paychecks until the year 2037. After the aforementioned “Big 3” there isn’t much you can smile at on the Orioles roster.
Weakness: I think I’m beating a dead horse but again, another AL East team’s weakness is their starting rotation. The Orioles don’t have a single trustworthy arm in their rotation. Chris Tillman, the O’s projected opening day starter and ace, pitched to a 4.99 ERA last season. Kevin Gausman hasn’t been nearly the pitcher the team had hoped for and Ubaldo Jimenez has been a disaster since arriving.
Team MVP: Manny Machado
W/L prediction: 76-86
Tampa Bay Rays
- Notable acquisitions: Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Hank Conger
- Notable losses: Asdrubal Cabrera, Grady Sizemore, J.P. Arenciba
Strength: Unlike the rest of the division, the Rays rotation is the strongest part of their team. With 2015 all-star and Cy Young contender Chris Archer heading the rotation, the Rays have a great starting foundation. Then mix in Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly and Jake Odorizzi and you have a whale of a rotation. Problem is going to be run support for this rotation. There may be many occasions where Rays starters get through seven or even eight innings tied or losing because the lack of offense in Tampa.
Weakness: Offensive production is going to be hard to come by in Tampa this season. Outside of Evan Longoria who’s already on the down side of his career, the Rays are going to go through a season long power shortage. Tampa’s lineup is full of guys who are decent MLB players, some who would start on quality teams, most who would not. There are going to be a lot of devastating 2-1 losses in Tampa Bay this season.
Team MVP: Chris Archer
W/L prediction: 74-88
Division Winner: Toronto Blue Jays
Division MVP: Josh Donaldson
Have you heard? Some Cuban flamethrower has been traded to the Yankees for four minor leaguers. In what was a wildly unexpected afternoon, Aroldis Chapman has landed with the New York Yankees, hopefully leaving his handgun in Florida.
Quite frankly, Aroldis Chapman is one of the best relievers in all of baseball. He’s made the all-star game four straight years, and has had at least 33 saves in each of those seasons. In 2015, Chapman had the highest strikeout percentage in baseball at 46-percent. Second and third you ask? Chapman’s new teammates, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.
There’s no denying how dominant the back-end of the Yankees bullpen can, and probably will be. My guess is the seventh and eighth innings will be pitched by Betances and Miller. Hopefully, neither has a set inning and Girardi will check his binder and pitch them based on matchups. Chapman is the closer on opening day if he’s not suspended, it’s a no-brainer.
I’m personally upset with the Yankees organization for acquiring Chapman. Obviously the talent is there, but we see what kind of person is coming to the Yanks. Will he be suspended? Most likely. What’s to say he figures it out? He’s coming to the city that never sleeps. It doesn’t seem like the smartest thing the Yankees have done from a non-baseball standpoint. Domestic violence is serious and should not be taken lightly just because he’s a professional athlete. At no point should winning take precedent over domestic violence.
From purely a baseball standpoint, Brian Cashman is a genius. The best two prospects the Yankees gave up was pitcher Rookie Davis and third-baseman Eric Jagielo. Davis was the key piece to the deal. Davis had a solid year in Triple-A just last season. He has a plus fastball, but needs to develop his other pitches more. The Reds just traded their third baseman, Todd Frazier, so Jagielo could end being a long-term solution. The other two prospects in the deal were Caleb Cotham, who made appearances out of the Yankees bullpen in 2015, and infielder Tony Renda.
The Yankees have already gone through an excruciatingly long and annoying process with Alex Rodriguez over the last couple of seasons. Bringing in Chapman is just going to rekindle all of the negative backlash the Yankees organization has received. It’s not the best look for the organization as a whole. He may help the team win a championship, I’m fully aware of that. I just don’t look forward to rooting on someone’s who’s simply not a good person.
Our national past-time has been trending downwards for a few years now. Ever since baseball cracked down on all things PED’s, things simply haven’t been the same. For better or for worse, all we can do as fans is hope that it can gain some momentum and pick back up to where it once was, the best sport around. Thanks to all of the young talent being drafted and groomed for the big leagues, it is once again on its way to the promise land.
Pitching has dominated the game since PED’s were almost completely rid from the game. Sure there are players that are still getting away with it, for how long we’ll have to wait to find out, but there are offensive reinforcements on the way. As of matter of fact, most of them have arrived to the show already over the past few seasons, and especially this year. Everyone knows the likes of Trout, Harper, Goldschmidt, Stanton, etc. the ones who seem poised to provide offense we haven’t seen in a while but how about all of the guys that have been called up just this year. 7 of the top 10 prospects, according to MLB Network’s preseason rankings, have been called up this year and it’s only June! Not only have they been called up, they’re making big splashes. The number two, one too many, Kris Bryant has burst onto the scene and is second on the Cubs in RBI with 32 and has a .404 OBP. The number 13 prospect Joc Pederson has hit 17 home-runs, and they aren’t just getting over the wall, they’re absolute bombs.
Just using two examples of these future stars doesn’t do it justice. Carlos Correa, the Astros number one prospect, looks like a young Alex Rodriguez at SS and we all know he’s been pretty successful on the field. Joey Gallo has hit four home-runs since being called up a couple of weeks ago and each one has been more towering and majestic than the last. The way these guys are tearing it up, they’re turning into must see television, like baseball was when McGuire and Sosa were battling for the home-run title and when Bonds was hitting home-run after home-run and eventually breaking the single-season mark.
I feel bad I’m only touching on the young position players because there are a ton of young arms that have and will be blazing the stage shortly, but the way baseball gets the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up is normally by runs scored. These young, talented, four and five-tooled players seemed destined to do that and more.
The title says it all. Max Scherzer has been worth every penny of the 7 year, $210 million the Nationals gave him this off-season. To be honest, he’s been the best pitcher in the game and I’m here to tell you why.
Fresh off his second career complete game shut-out in which he recorded 16 strikeouts, only allowed one hit and one walk and was perfect through six innings, Max is putting together another elite season. Don’t let his 7-5 record fool you, ladies and gents, win/lose never tells the full story. Scherzer is dealing and currently has a sub-2 era, 1.93 to be exact. He leads all qualified starters in FIP at 2.03, strikeouts with 113 of them and in WHIP at 0.88. All eye-popping numbers.
Scherzer has been the work horse Washington hoped they got when they signed him to a monster deal. He’s 5th in innings pitched and is tied for 5th in quality starts with 10, only two back of the leader Zack Greinke. Another tell-tale stat he has going for him is K/9, which again he’s 5th in, averaging 10.9 per 9 innings.
Max simply doesn’t allow base-runners either. He’s only walked 14 opposing batters in the 93+ innings he’s worked and has only allowed 68 hits. Yes, moving to the National League presents some advantages for pitchers but this isn’t a fluke, Max is elite.
This is the year the 22 year old, 2 time all-star breaks out and shows everyone why he was the most coveted prospect in however many years, maybe ever. Bryce has been saddled by injuries throughout the first three years of his career but the time is now for Washington and they need Harper to perform at his number one draft pick potential. He’s bulked up and has hit some tape-measure home-runs this spring. Washington lost their reliable, super productive, first baseman in Adam LaRoche to free agency, which also means Bryce will be put right in the middle of the Nats lineup and need to pick up the production that LaRoche gave them before he left.
- Games Played: 150
- Average: .315
- Hits: 195
- Home-Runs: 30-35
- Runs Batted In: 115-120
- Runs Scored: 112
- Stolen Bases: 15
NL Cy Young
It’s hard to bet against a guy who was an R.A. Dickey career year away from going for the Cy Young five peat this year. But three out of the last four ain’t too shabby, either. He seems to be getting better with each passing year as his 26 year old season saw him win a Cy Young and the National League MVP award. The Dodgers, who aren’t shy with their spending, went out and improved at spots they felt it were necessary to improve to help them win a World Championship.
- Starts: 33
- Innings: 225
- W/L: 19-5
- ERA: 1.96
- WHIP: 0.98
- K/BB: 245/58
NL Rookie of the Year
The buzz around this kid is insane, and it’s one hundred percent real. Bryant, who entered this spring as the number one prospect in baseball, and shined from day one. He hit over .400, hit an incredible 9 home-runs, and drove in 15 runs. Due to specific reasons that allow the Cubs control over Bryant for an additional year, he will begin 2015 in the minor leagues. Don’t expect him to be in the minors a day after the Cubbies seize control over him for that year because he will be plugged right into the middle of that Chicago lineup as soon as he’s called up.
- Games Played: 135
- Batting Average: .285
- Hits: 150
- Home-Runs: 26
- RBI’s: 78
- Runs: 75
- Stolen Bases: 8
Mike Trout’s career has been so weird and so great so far. His best two seasons, his first two full seasons, he finished second in the MVP. One of those seasons he hit 30 HR’s, had a .400 OBP, and stole 49 bases. The other, he drove in 97 RBI, walked 110 times, and had a .432 OBP. His worst season, his 2014 campaign, he hit under .300 (.287), struck out more than anyone else in the AL (184 times), and he stolen base total was literally cut in half. That being said, Trouty is the new face of baseball. He has said he will be stealing more bases going forward, which is an indication he’s going to be looking for more contact and less strikeouts. Trout should never have less than 30 stolen bases with the speed he possesses. You normally see a transition from speed to power later on in player’s careers, Trout is starting that trend too early. I expect the stolen base total to rise, all while the power numbers continue to be elite.
- Games Played: 155
- Batting Average: .307
- Hits: 204
- Home-Runs: 33
- RBI’s: 106
- Runs: 119
- Stolen Bases: 34
AL Cy Young
Here is my semi-sleeper of the bunch. Price is an ex-Cy winner, but the obvious picks here are Kluber, Hernandez and Sale. Price struck out an unprecedented 271 batters last year and I say unprecedented because of today’s day and age of pitch counts, amount of innings people throw these days amongst some other reasons. Price is now the clear ace of Detroit’s staff with Scherzer gone and with Verlander regressing the past two seasons. If Detroit wants to pose a threat in the division and in further down the road in the playoffs, they need Cy Young David Price and I believe that’s exactly who they’re going to get.
- Starts: 34
- Innings: 250
- W/L: 17-5
- ERA: 2.40
- WHIP: 1.07
- K/BB: 275/40
AL Rookie of the Year
Rusney isn’t your typical, 22 year old that has spent the last few seasons in the minors. The Cuban defector is 27. But being his first year in the majors, he’s considered a rookie, following in the foot-steps of last year’s winner, Jose Abreu. Rusney will start in CF for Boston and has a great combination of power and speed. Expect him to head the American League rookies for most of the season.
- Games Played: 140
- Batting Average: .279
- Hits: 165
- Home-Runs: 21
- RBI: 70
- Runs: 95
- Stolen Bases: 20