Fulfilling the fantasy: MLBs top 5 picks for 2014

Fulfilling the fantasy: MLBs top 5 picks for 2014

Posted on 24 February 2014 by Bill Ivie

Miguel Cabrera

It’s almost time again for Opening Day and MLB recently released its top ranking players for the upcoming campaign.

Once again this year’s top spot belongs to the LA Angels outfielder Mike Trout, whose star just seems to continue to rise. The 22 year old offers an excellent combination of speed and stamina and in 2013 he became only the second man to end multiple seasons with 25 long balls, 30 steals and an average of at least.320. He came in 2nd in the American League MVP race and retains his number 1 ranking in fantasy baseball for another year.

Miguel Cabrera is at number two in the preview for the second consecutive year, despite having scooped the MVP award yet again. Okay, so we all know that the Detroit Tigers slugger has had an exceptional 2 years and that he seems to have the skill and luck of a jackpot winner MobileCasinoCanada.ca but he keeps missing that elusive top spot in the preview, so he might just need to pick up speed as he only stole 3 bases last season.

The MLB preview’s Number 3 player is Paul Goldschmidt, one of the fastest runners in MLB and first baseman for the Arizona Diamond Backs. He swiped 15 bags in the last season and this statistic alone is enough to earn him a spot in the top 5. He’s Arizona’s hottest star and he racked up 125 RBI’s and 36 home Runs in 2013.

NL MVP award winner Andrew McCutchen comes in at number 4 and the Pittsburgh Pirates centre fielder whose been called “Mike Trout Lite” was one of only 3 ML players to finish last season with at least 25 steals and 20 home runs. He remains incredibly consistent and although he may be inching into the senior’s circuit he finished 2013 with the best significant statistics.

Carlos Gonzalez “CarGo” earns himself the number 5 spot in the preview and despite his cheesy nickname the 28 year old outfielder for the Colorado Rockies has made a huge impact on the game. He has been plagued by injury so his stats look super impressive, but in 2014 he could go one of two ways- boom or bust.

Hopefully this article helps you update your fantasy picks and keeps your choices relevant for the 162-game 2014 season.

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NC State Outfielder Makes A Great Catch

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NC State Outfielder Makes A Great Catch

Posted on 28 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

The one thing that Full Spectrum Baseball will always bring you is baseball.

Not always Major League Baseball.  Not always American Baseball.  Not always Professional Baseball.  But we will always strive to bring you baseball in every way possible.

Today, I stumbled onto a video of an amazing catch by NC State center fielder Brett Williams.  The video is below:


Video courtesy of the ACC Digital Network on YouTube

Now that’s baseball.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at Full Spectrum Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Ouch Goes Grandyman, In Comes Damon?

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Ouch Goes Grandyman, In Comes Damon?

Posted on 26 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

The Yankees disabled list added another big name over the weekend when superstar Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch that fractured his forearm.

grandy

Reports have Granderson hitting the shelf for at least 10 weeks and many experts will tell you that it is hard to estimate when he will be back up to full speed and strength when coming back from this type of injury.  It appears that the fracture is not one to be overly concerned about and that Granderson should be back in the lineup, and near his All Star form, around the first of May.  If you missed the highlight from over the weekend, here it is, courtesy of MLB.com:

That leaves the world speculating on just who might take over the center field job in Granderson’s absence.  The key component in replacing Granderson is that he is not lost for the season and, ultimately, only lost for the first month or so of it.  Finding a veteran outfielder that is willing to sign a minor league deal with a chance to make the trip north and catch on as an extra oufielder might be the answer.  With very little available in house and an already offense deprived starting lineup, the Yankees may find a familiar name out there in free agency.

Johnny Damon and his 18 year career are trying to find a home this spring, not quite ready to retire yet.  He spent four of those years with the Yankees from 2006-2009 and reports say that he would be open to a reunion to provide the team with some depth until Granderson returned.

It is important to note that this Damon is not the same one that left the Bronx for Detroit a few years ago, he is far less productive at 39 years old.  He played last year, briefly, for the Cleveland Indians before being released on August 9.  In addition, it has been two full seasons since Damon patrolled the center of the diamond, playing left field as well as designated hitter primarily over the last few years.

He is still an option, still has some speed, and may have a little pop left in his bat from time to time.

Are the Yankees willing to get even older than they are with a low risk deal for Damon to prove himself.

It’s your move, Brian Cashman.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at Full Spectrum Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Stolen Base Champion Passes Away

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Stolen Base Champion Passes Away

Posted on 21 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

Pop quiz: Who holds the record for most stolen bases in a professional baseball season, ranks second among all professional base stealers, and averaged 150 stolen bases a season?

If you answered Rickey Henderson, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Her name is Sophie Kurys (pronounced “curries”).  A young woman from Flint, Michigan, she was a founding member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and a second baseman for the Racine Belles.

SophieKurys

Kurys signed her first contract, for $50 a week, one day shy of her 18th birthday.

Kurys would play for eight seasons for the Belles, including rejoining them a year after they left Racine and moved to Battle Creek.  Her best season would come in 1946 when she was named player of the year after gathering 215 hits and stealing 201 bases in 203 attempts, a professional record that still stands today.  She would hit .286 that season with a .434 on base percentage, score 117 runs, walk 93 times and collect a .973 fielding percentage, leading the league in each category.  Her walks and fielding percentage marks in 1946 would go down as league records.

She wasn’t done with just the regular season, though.  She would lead all hitters in the post-season that year and have one of the most amazing games in professional baseball history in the sixth and deciding game of the league championship.

The game itself was a bit of an enigma   Carolyn Morris, the Rockford ace, had thrown a no-hitter through nine innings before surrendering the first hit of the game in the 10th.  Meanwhile, Racine’s pitcher, Joanne Winter allowed 19 base runners through 14 innings, stranding them all.  The game had gone 14 innings without a run, despite Kurys four stolen bases up to that point.  She would single and steal her fifth base of the game in the bottom of the 14th inning, putting her at second base with Betty Trezza, her double play partner and shortstop for Racine, at the plate.

As Kurys broke for third as Trezza singled through the right side.  As the throw came home from right field, Kurys would hook slide around the catcher’s tag and provide Racine with the 1946 championship.  It was easy to see that the young lady had earned the nickname “Flint Flash”.

“A hook slide away from the tag by a player wearing a skirt – how about that?  Sophie was certainly one of our best,” stated Lois Youngen, former AAGPBL Players Association President.

Many managers and players credit Kurys for her ability to read a pitcher and her attention to the detail for her base stealing prowess.  While she was certainly fast, she would get an incredible jump off the pitcher and was a “master of the slide”.

She played her first few years in the league as the clean up hitter for the team but new manager Leo Murphy, who took over the reigns of the Belles in 1945, identified her base running abilities and moved her to the leadoff spot where she flourished for her team.

She would finish her career with 1,114 stolen bases.  That mark would stand as a professional record until Rickey Henderson would eventually surpass her, finishing his career with 1,406.  Her 201 stolen bases in 1946 remains a record in professional baseball today.  She would also steal 166, 142, 172, and 137 bases in a season during her career, all more than Henderson’s modern-era record of 130 and three of which were higher than Hugh Nicol‘s 1887 total of 138.

Kurys passed away on February 17, 2013 at the age of 87 years old in Scottsdale, Arizona due to surgical complications.

Read more about Sophie in this comprehensive article, Playing Hardball In The All-American League at aagpbl.org

Bill Ivie is the editor here at Full Spectrum Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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An Arbitration Perfect Year

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An Arbitration Perfect Year

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

In 1974, Major League Baseball introduced the arbitration process.  Throughout time, the process has evolved, but boils down to some basic concepts for players and their teams during the early years of the player’s career.

arbitration

As a player progresses through a team’s system, they eventually reach what has commonly become known as their “arbitration years”.  More often than not, this applies to the third through sixth year of a player’s major league service time.  There are some exceptions that create a “Super Two” player that allows them to gain an extra year of arbitration eligibility.

During this time frame of a player’s career, he and his team have the ability to continue their relationship through a series of one-year contracts.  If they both agree to continue their relationship but they cannot agree on a dollar amount of worth for the player, they enter an arbitration hearing.  At that point, an independent arbitrator will examine the facts from both sides and decide which salary the player should obtain.

As you can imagine, this is not a desirable occurrence for either party.  Team’s have to construct a case as to why a player is not worth the amount they are asking for, often damaging the relationship between the player and the team.  Ultimately, most teams try to work out a contract prior to the date for the arbitration hearing, in some cases, coming to terms on a multiple year contract that both the team and player feel are agreeable.

For the first time in the history of arbitration, every arbitration eligible player has agreed to terms with his team prior to needing a hearing.

While this is certainly newsworthy, it is hard to determine what impact it truly has on the game.  It may be a sign of more teams looking to lock up young stars before they run into the problems that arbitration brings.  It may simply be an anomaly of players that were more agreeable to terms.  It may be a sign of the youth movement in baseball growing more.

For now, it simply means that every team in baseball can focus on Spring Training and the product on the field.

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