Tag Archive | "Center Fielder"

Triple Play: Who’s Hot/Not, Playing the Name Game, Random Thoughts

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Triple Play: Who’s Hot/Not, Playing the Name Game, Random Thoughts

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Chris Caylor

Welcome to the first edition of Triple Play, a new weekly column in 2013 that combines three features from last season (Who’s Hot/Who’s Not, Playing the Name Game and Random Thoughts). Look for this column on Mondays or Tuesdays throughout the season. Off we go:

Colorado Rockies' Dexter Fowler, right, smiles as he is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring on an RBI-single by Omar Quintanilla in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a spring training baseball game in Tucson, Ariz., Thursday,  April 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Who’s Hot: Dexter Fowler, Colorado Rockies

While Chris Davis and Justin Upton have gotten tons of headlines – deservedly so – for their scorching first weeks of 2013, let’s not forget about Fowler, who put together a .370/.413/.852 batting line in the season’s opening week. The Rockies’ center fielder is at that magic age of 27, when so many pro athletes hit their peak, and he is tantalizing fantasy owners with the promise of a breakout season after just one week.

Who’s Not: R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays

On the flip side is R.A. Dickey, who has not been the ace the Blue Jays expected when they acquired him from the Mets over the winter. The knuckleballer has been battered to the tune of an 8.43 ERA and 1.97 WHIP in his two starts. During his time in New York, Dickey’s ability to avoid walks was perhaps the most impressive aspect of his pitching – especially considering the knuckleball’s unpredictability. So far in 2013, he has walked six hitters in 10 2/3 innings. That has to change, or the boo-birds Dickey heard Sunday will only get louder.

Playing the Name Game

Player A: .391/.423/.696, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 5 runs

Here’s a 2nd baseman who is off to a good start this season, particularly when you consider that he is 34 and had multiple injury issues the past two seasons. In fact, people were wondering if his career was rapidly meeting its end. Perhaps the most encouraging sign of his improved health is the stolen base and the triple he legged out on Opening Day? Got his name yet? Sure you do: it’s Chase Utley of the Phillies.

Player B: .500/.567/1.000, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 runs

These stats belong to a shortstop who has always been a good hitter, but has had trouble staying healthy. Troy Tulowitzki? Good guess, but no. This player is on his third team in as many seasons, and all of them now play in the American League. It’s the Athletics’ Jed Lowrie (who started last year for the Astros).

Random Thoughts

 If it weren’t for bad luck, Brian Roberts (and his fantasy owners) would have no luck at all. At age 35, after missing nearly three seasons with his horrible concussion issues and other injuries, Roberts was looking like an above-average option at a tissue paper-thin position in fantasy. So what happens? He strains his right hamstring in the third game of the season and is slated to miss about a month. The Orioles are a fun team to watch. They would be even more fun to watch if Roberts could stay healthy.

 From two grizzled veterans to an overhyped youngster: Jackie Bradley Jr. will be back in the minors by the end of April. He might be a major league talent, but Daniel Nava is the player to own.

 A’s pitcher Dan Straily pitched a beauty Friday night against the Astros, striking out 11 and permitting just three baserunners in 6 2/3 innings. His reward? A ticket back to Triple-A Sacramento so Bartolo Colon can take his place in Oakland’s rotation.

Jeff Samardzija leads the majors with 22 strikeouts after two starts, but the guy is 2nd place is surprising: the Pirates’ A.J. Burnett. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates haven’t scored a run in either of his starts. Yikes (for the Pirates’ offense, not Burnett).

 The Mets took a lot of heat for not making any big-name additions to the team, particularly after trading Dickey to Toronto, but the cupboard is not bare. Matt Harvey, 24, flashed ace-like potential in his debut (10 Ks, three baserunners in seven innings). Outfielder Collin Cowgill can flat-out hit. He will turn 27 this season and won’t even have a better opportunity to seize an everyday job than right now.

 Re: “42” – I haven’t been this pumped to see a sports movie since “Miracle.” After reading how pleased Rachel Robinson is with it, I am more excited than ever to see it. If she thinks the filmmakers did well, then I don’t much care what the critics have to say.

Follow me on Twitter @ccaylor10

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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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Welcome To The Bigs, Kid: Anthony Gose

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Welcome To The Bigs, Kid: Anthony Gose

Posted on 19 July 2012 by T.J. McDonald

On Monday Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays left the game after feeling pain in his wrist on an eighth-inning swing that produced a long foul ball. X-rays were negative but an MRI the following day revealed inflammation. At about the same time Anthony Gose a top prospect in the Blue Jays organization was playing for AAA Las Vegas. He was immediately pulled from the game and told what every kid dreams of, kid you are going to the big leagues.  As Gose so bluntly put it “ Strike out and next thing you know you’re going to the big leagues.”  He was added to the big league club the following day to replace Bautista with the Blue Jays making room on the 40-man roster for Gose by transferring right-hander Brandon Morrow  from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Below I will go over all you need to know about Anthony Gose plus if he is worth a flier in both yearly and keeper fantasy leagues.

Prior to the season Gose was rated as the 39th best prospect in all of baseball by baseball America, 59th by Ketih Law & 68th by Kevin Goldstein. Kevin Goldstein also had Anthony Gose  rated as the 12th ranked  prospect in the futures game last week in Kansas City, played during the All Star festivities.  He is a 21 year old center fielder with plus-plus speed, the potential for average power and fantastic defense in center field. He was acquired  by the Blue Jays from Houston in July 2010 for first baseman Brett Wallace.  He was hitting .292 with 77 Runs, 5 Hrs, 41 RBIs, 18 doubles, 10 triples and a league leading 29 SBs in 92 games in the Pacific Coast league this year prior to his call up.  He has all the tools to be an everyday player but does have some concerns.  While a great source of steals with 29 this year in AAA and 70 in 2011 at the double A level he does have 501 Ks in 1,947 career minor league at bats. He has cut down on the strikeout this year though so getting on base may not be the problem it once was. When he does get on base look out the steals will come.

Now as to if he can and will help your fantasy team. In the short term yes, in all leagues if you need steals he is a recommended pickup.  He did not start Tuesday but did get in the lineup late in the game going one for two.  Wednesday he started in right field and batted lead off going 0-3 with 2 Ks.  As you can see he will be given the opportunity to play everyday and possibly bat lead off while Bautista is recovering. If he plays well and with only the likes of Rajai Davis and Ben Francisco to compete with for playing time when Bautista returns, he could easily find himself starting alongside Bautista and Colby Rasmus in the outfield for the remainder of the year and the foreseeable  future.

In yearly leagues while Gose is worth a pickup he may only be short term help.  When Bautista returns possibly as soon as he eligible to come off the 15 day DL,  there is no guarantee he will stick with the big league club. Although a strong showing may force their hand.  If you are in need of steals and have room on your roster I would take a flier and hope he stays on the big league club post Bautista return.  This things are hard to predict but if he starts hitting well and stealing bases and sticks with the club you don’t want to be the guy wishing you had picked him up when you had the chance.

Keeper leagues however are another story. I would advise everyone to run not walk to their waiver wire and pick him up immediately, I did.  Prospects of his caliber do not get called up everyday and now that is he playing and possibly producing you will not be wasting the spot on just a prospect stash. You will have the possible next big thing on your roster and producing in your lineup at the same time. If he was not stashed already, know is the time to act if for nothing less than the short term help with the added bonus that his high keeper potential and value he will add to your roster.  He is just to good of a prospect  to see the Blue Jays not getting him in the line up on an everyday bases next year, if not for the remainder of the year even. So do yourself a favor and pickup Gose now and possibly even keep him, leaving everyone else in your league wondering why the new wonder kid is not available come next years draft time.

Will you be picking up Anthony Gose now or playing the wait and see game hoping no one else pulls the trigger?  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments and as always follow me on twitter @FantasyzrTJ We can continue the discussion there as well as other fantasy baseball talk & news.

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Ozzie Guillen and I Have Way More in Common Than I Thought

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Ozzie Guillen and I Have Way More in Common Than I Thought

Posted on 27 June 2012 by Trish Vignola

Nothing has changed in the timeline for his return, the multifaceted Emilio Bonifacio is still due at some point back after the All-Star Break. Still, Tuesday was a crucial day for Emilio Bonifacio. That’s nice. I speculated pre-Full Spectrum Baseball Fantasy Baseball draft that Bonifacio was going to have a significant impact on the Marlins.

Heck. I even drafted him.

However, the only impact Bonifacio has made on my team is the space he takes up on my Disabled List.

The Marlins center fielder was examined and cleared by a team physician to increase his baseball activities. Bonifacio got the green light to start hitting and play catch. He is still recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

The injury occurred in Cleveland on May 18, and he’s been on my disabled list since May 20. Sigh.

On Tuesday, Bonifacio began hitting off a tee. He also put a glove on and played catch. The injury is to his glove hand.

Before this, Bonifacio had taken practice swings in recent days. As previously mentioned, the team’s hope is to have him back after the All-Star break.

The Marlins come out of the break on July 13 at home against the Nationals.

“I don’t want to be rushed back,” Bonifacio said. Why should he? He has spent a whole season making me rethink my entire fantasy Baseball strategy. To be fair, I’ve also had David Robinson and any assortment of New York Mets bullpen at some point. Enough already. I’m glade Bonifacio is “feeling great,” but I really need him to get off his butt and start taking swings before I have to drop another person.

Who knew though that there was one person out there who understood what I was going through?

All the losing is trying Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s patience. Who can blame him?

Because Miami has a number of young players, the fiery Guillen has been careful not to lash out at his team. Instead, he’s been uplifting and encouraging. I just keep yelling at my Mac Book screen.

“I have to be careful how I treat these kids here,” the manager said. “I don’t have a veteran team. I don’t know how they’re going to handle it. I’m not going to put more pressure on them. I don’t need to say something they know. How you’re going to say it, how they’re going to digest it, how they’re going to take it.”

Veterans don’t take it well either. Ask Bobby Valentine or any of my players…who apparently can’t hear me yelling through my computer screen.

While he’s bitten his tongue, the manager cautioned he could be close to once again making headlines because of his emotions.

“I will, pretty soon,” Guillen said. “I want to be on ESPN. I want to be all over the news. I haven’t been there for a long time.”

Thank you. I’m always looking for writing topics.

Guillen continues, “I should. I make a lot of money when I’m doing that. Pretty soon I’m ready to erupt. But right now … I’m just trying to be positive the most that I can, because we need that.”

Bottom line for both Ozzie and myself is production. The Marlins have been an enigma, because they won 21 games in May, but have just five wins in June entering Tuesday. I dropped two spots in the rankings since Monday.

“I believe we have a good ballclub,” Guillen said. I’m not so sure I do.

Guillen continues, “I believe we do. Why? Because we’ve played good before. I know we’re going to play good again. The only thing I want is more consistency. I want the players to feel that way, how good they are.
“We went from the best team in baseball to the worst team in baseball. You can’t be that drastic. That’s why I’m confused. I think we have the talent.”

I have Jose Reyes AND Joey Votto. How could I have gone so wrong?

Guillen on Tuesday sported a cleaner look, shaving off his goatee. I don’t have one.

“I shaved it because I had more white hair than when I got here,” he joked. “Thank you to the Marlins. I look older.” Me too, Ozzie. Me too.

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An increasing trend in baseball: 40 steals, 100 strikeouts

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An increasing trend in baseball: 40 steals, 100 strikeouts

Posted on 21 March 2012 by Graham Womack

For a speedy center fielder, Cameron Maybin must have been swinging for the fences in 2011. Besides stealing 40 bases last year, more than he’d swiped in his four previous seasons combined, the Padres outfielder struck out 125 times, also a career-high. It wasn’t the greatest of feats for Maybin, a long-heralded prospect and a centerpiece of the Tigers-Marlins Miguel Cabrera trade in December 2007 who’s been known more since then as something of a baseball vagabond.

Thing is, Maybin’s far from alone in the amount that he struck out and stole bases last year.

Ninety players in baseball history have recorded at least 40 steals and 100 strikeouts in a season, all but two having done so since 1960. Numbers have spiked in recent years, with 30 men accomplishing the feat since 2000 including five each of the past two seasons, a record.

A full list of the men with at least 40 steals and 100 strikeouts in 2010 and 2011 is as follows, courtesy of the Play Index from Baseball-Reference.com:

Rk Player HR SB SO Yr Tm PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Matt Kemp 39 40 159 2011 LAD 689 602 115 195 33 4 126 74 11 .324 .399 .586 .986
2 Drew Stubbs 15 40 205 2011 CIN 681 604 92 147 22 3 44 63 10 .243 .321 .364 .686
3 Cameron Maybin 9 40 125 2011 SDP 568 516 82 136 24 8 40 44 8 .264 .323 .393 .716
4 Emilio Bonifacio 5 40 129 2011 FLA 641 565 78 167 26 7 36 59 11 .296 .360 .393 .753
5 Michael Bourn 2 61 140 2011 TOT 722 656 94 193 34 10 50 53 14 .294 .349 .386 .734
6 Carl Crawford 19 47 104 2010 TBR 663 600 110 184 30 13 90 46 10 .307 .356 .495 .851
7 B.J. Upton 18 42 164 2010 TBR 610 536 89 127 38 4 62 67 9 .237 .322 .424 .745
8 Brett Gardner 5 47 101 2010 NYY 569 477 97 132 20 7 47 79 9 .277 .383 .379 .762
9 Michael Bourn 2 52 109 2010 HOU 605 535 84 142 25 6 38 59 12 .265 .341 .346 .686
10 Chone Figgins 1 42 114 2010 SEA 702 602 62 156 21 2 35 74 15 .259 .340 .306 .646


What’s behind the surge?

I put the word out on Twitter on Tuesday and got a variety of responses. My friend @dianagram reminded me that, in general, strikeouts are up in baseball; teams whiffed 1,150 times apiece on average in 2011, in contrast to the MLB average of 801 strikeouts in 1960. Heck, it was 496 per team in 1930. There’s talk of the strikeout being less destructive, which sounds backwards to me. I miss the days of Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial striking out roughly five percent of their at-bats. Tony Gwynn did this in recent years, but he was a throwback.

Other followers in my Twitter feed pointed to an increased use of specialized relievers with high strikeout totals, less emphasis on contact hitting, and more emphasis on power. Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods, replied to me, “Fewer slap-hitting lead-off types nowadays? GMs avoid the ol’ Omar Moreno style of contact ‘hitting,’ maybe.” There were other ideas as well, with my friend @figurefilbert suggesting that expansion has diluted talent levels, and @MikeGianella countering that the US population has nearly doubled since 1960. It’s part of a broader question about if baseball’s gotten better or worse over the years, a question I couldn’t answer in one post.

Whatever the case, the trend of high strikeout and stolen base totals doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. This comes even with Bill James and other baseball researchers showing in recent years that the caught stealing rate can be no more than 15 percent before base stealing efforts become counterproductive. Old habits die hard, I guess. That being, I would doubt that teams are all that concerned. After all, the Padres just signed the soon-to-be 25-year-old Maybin to a five-year, $25 million extension two weeks ago.

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