Tag Archive | "Rookie Year"

Trout and Trumbo’s Bag Of Tricks

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Trout and Trumbo’s Bag Of Tricks

Posted on 22 February 2013 by Jennifer Gosline

Careful. Do not look directly in Mike Trout’s eyes for too long or risk being sucked into his vortex.

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How can you not be mesmerized by Mike Trout? He dazzled the crowd last season with superhuman leaps at the wall to rob home runs, acrobatic diving plays, and fierce strength at the plate. He does it all with a sparkle in his eye that is simply hypnotic. The kid has charisma and he has set the standards high for this year. The Los Angeles Angels are expecting nothing but the best from their starting outfielder, but can he do it again?

Last season the rookie was explosive hitting 30 home runs and 83 RBIs with a slash line of .326/.399/.564. The All-Star was not just known for his skill in the outfield or his hitting power, he also had incredible speed, leading the majors with 49 stolen bases in 2012. Yes 49. I even triple checked that number before writing this post. These numbers are more impressive knowing he did not even put on a major league uniform in 2012, until April 28th.

He sealed the 2012 season with the American League Rookie of the Year Award and a Silver Slugger Award. He also lead the AL in WAR with 10.7 and runs with 129. He was the whole package and undoubtably deserved the titles he earned.

The 21 year old must have enormous pressure entering the 2013 season. To be even remotely close to his rookie year he will have some serious work to do. No one wants to be a one-hit wonder. However, break out years are usually just that. Break outs. Then the player cools off and someone else takes the spotlight. Many are already concerned about his apparent weight gain over the off season. Rest assured, Trout will most likely leave his heavier self behind in Spring Training and will be ready to go Opening Day.

The outfielder may have a lot to live up to, but he is still growing as a player, and as long as something does not shake his momentum he can have another great season. One thing is for sure, every one is waiting to see what he will do next and I think he has more surprises up his sleeve.

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With Trout and his outstanding year, Mark Trumbo shifted out of the media attention, but that might not have been the fault of his teammate. Trumbo was hot the first half of the season with 42 runs and 22 home runs in 288 at bats. He was .306/.358/.608 and was even invited to the All-Star game. The power hitter competed in the Home Run Derby which resulted in a tie breaker against Blue Jay’s slugger Jose Bautista. Bautista then went on to the final round and lost to Tiger’s Prince Fielder.

Right after the All-Star Game, Trumbo cooled off while still being pretty dangerous at the plate. Then, in July he had a minor injury with his back. The pain did not bench him for long, but after that he seemed to fall into a slump. He had only 24 Runs and 10 home runs in 256 at bats. His slash line fell to .227/.271/.359. He had 88 strikeouts the second half of the season compared to only 65 during the first half, emphasizing his struggle at the plate. The numbers speak for themselves. Was it the injury, or is this the Trumbo we should expect to see from now on-a clear power hitter who may or may not make contact with the ball?

My thoughts on what Trumbo will be like in 2013 is this: Still dangerous. Still powerful. Maybe not quite as dominant as he was in the beginning of last year. As long as his foot injury that occurred last fall heals properly, he should be ready to do some damage this season. With his consistency in 2011, it is safe to say he will be productive and prove to be valuable to the Angels this year.

When the Angels signed superstar Josh Hamilton many were left wondering what would happen to Trumbo. After the initial gossip and frantic worry, it looks as though they will still find room for him. He might become their main designated hitter. The addition of veteran Hamilton may be a good presence in the clubhouse for both Trout and Trumbo. The new Angel might give that extra push to keep them going strong all season long.

Will Trout be as amazing as last season; will Trumbo come out of his slump? If they both can stay consistent and healthy throughout the season, the two of them will end up taking over the AL West, wowing the fans with more fancy plays and launching baseballs even further into the seats. Prepare yourselves. They have a lot more to offer in their bag of tricks.

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NL Pitching Planner:  June 18 – June 24

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NL Pitching Planner: June 18 – June 24

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Fresh off his perfect game, Matt Cain headlines this week’s list of two-start pitchers in the NL.  The pool of two-starters is strong at the top.  However, these strong two-starters are offset by a larger than usual pool of bottom feeders.

Here are the NL two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 12:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Matt Cain:  6/18 @ LAA; 6/24 @ OAK – although Philip Humber hasn’t fared well after his perfect game, you have to feel Cain can keep pitching well, as he has a better track record.

R.A. Dickey: 6/18 vs BAL; 6/24 vs NYY – one questionable call away from a no-no last time out

Cole Hamels: 6/19 vs COL; 6/24 vs TB – should bounce back after poor start last time out

Lance Lynn: 6/19 @ DET; 6/24 @ KC – has proven to be one of the more reliable pitchers in the NL

Results

Week 10 -4 GS, 3 QS, 1 W, 27.2 IP, 30 H+BB, 37 K’s, 12 ER, 3.90 ERA, 1.08 whip

YTD – 60 GS, 40 QS, 24 W, 388.1 IP, 436 H+BB, 385 K’s, 134 ER, 3.11 ERA, 1.12 whip

Not Too Shabby

Matt Garza: 6/18 @ CHW; 6/24 @ ARI – a little shaky last time out.  Are the trade rumors distracting him?

Mark Buehrle: 6/19 vs MIA; 6/24 vs TOR – has only given up more than 4 runs in one start

Mike Minor: 6/18 @ NYY; 6/24 @ BOS – two straight strong starts has solidified his position in rotation, for now

Aaron Harang: 6/19 @ OAK; 6/24 @ LAA – does not pitch well on the road (4.37 ERA vs 2.51 at Home), but the A’s could help change that

Wade Miley: 6/18 vs SEA; 6/24 vs CHC – putting up great number in rookie year and faces a couple weak teams

Mat Latos: 6/18 @ CLE; 6/24 vs MIN – still trying to string together some quality starts

Results

Week 10 – 24 GS, 14 QS, 7 W, 149.2 IP, 192 H+BB, 115 K’s, 71 ER, 4.27 ERA, 1.28 whip

YTD – 204 GS, 120 QS, 76 W, 1265.1 IP, 1584 H+ BB, 999 K’s, 520 ER, 3.70 ERA, 1.25 whip

Risky at Best

Randy Wolf:  6/18 vs TOR; 6/24 @ CHW – Wolf was decent last year, but not so much this year.  Best to avoid.

J.A. Happ:  6/18 vs KC; 6/24 vs CLE – its hard to get excited about Astros pitchers, especially those with 5.33 ERA’s

Kevin Correia: 6/19 vs MIN; 6/24 vs DET – A 25/21 K/BB ratio to go with 4.43 ERA and poor offensive support

Josh Outman: 6/19 @ PHI; 6/24 @ TEX – 8.44 ERA, including 7.94 ERA is 3 starts, does not bode well

Jason Marquis: 6/18 vs TEX; 6/24 vs SEA – might benefit from pitching in Petco, but was released by Twins for a reason

Chien-Ming Wang: 6/19 vs TB; 6/24 @ BAL – Nats should have kept Ross Detwiler in the rotation

Results

Week 10 – 9 GS, 7 QS, 6 W, 54.2 IP, 65 H+BB, 41 K’s, 27 ER, 4.45 ERA, 1.19 whip

YTD – 74 GS, 41 QS, 23 W, 446.0 IP, 587 H+BB, 307 K’s, 223 ER, 4.50 ERA, 1.32 whip

Other Favorable Matchups (<50% owned)

Nathan Eovaldi (16% owned): 6/20 @ OAK

Favorable matchup for young pitcher who is throwing well

Dillon Gee (41% owned): 6/20 vs BAL

3.05 ERA over his last 3 starts, could be a good time to take a chance on him

Joe Kelly (5% owned): 6/22 @ KC

Young sinkerballer will square off against a Royals offense that’s 28th in the majors in runs scored

Clayton Richard (16% owned):  6/23 vs SEA

Has a 2.79 ERA in last 3 starts and 1.97 career ERA against the Mariners

Results

Week 10 – 2 GS, 0 QS, 0 W, 12.2 IP, 17 H+BB, 6 K’s, 8 ER, 5.68 ERA, 1.34 whip

YTD – 28 GS, 14 QS, 14 W, 175.2 IP, 231 H+BB, 156 K’s, 81 ER, 4.15 ERA, 1.31 whip

Be sure to check out the AL Pitching Planner and see ya next week.

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Finding Keepers:  New York Mets

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Finding Keepers: New York Mets

Posted on 11 March 2012 by Mark Sherrard

The New York Mets find themselves in a bit of a rebuilding year, after finishing 4th in the NL East in 2011. However, with low expectations comes lower perceived value, which means more opportunities for Finding Keepers.

Here is a look at some Mets players who could be undervalued in 2012 and end up keeper worthy.

After a strong rookie year, in which he hit .264/.351/.440 with 19 homers, 1B Ike Davis missed most of the 2011 campaign with an ankle injury. Add to that the speculation that he may have Valley Fever and many fantasy owners will steer clear of him. However, in 36 games last year, he did hit .302/.383/.543 and looked like he was well on his way to a breakout year before the injury. If he proves healthy this spring, snatch him up before someone else does.

2B Daniel Murphy is not a flashy guy, he will not get you a bunch of homeruns or stolen bases, but he did manage to hit a quiet .320/.362/.448 last year, while qualifying at 2B, 3B and 1B. His multi-positional eligibility might make him a bit more valuable to some, but moderate numbers in the counting stats might just keep his value low enough to be considered keeper material.

SS Ruben Tejada is another player who will not carry a team and will barely raise a blip on most owners radars. He offers no power and little speed, but his .284/.360/.335 line last year and multi-positional eligibility (2B/SS) make him valuable in deeper, NL only leagues. A couple bucks or a late round pick could net you a quality UT player.

OF Lucas Duda got some regular playing time last year and played well, earning the starting right field job for 2012. He has some power and with a .292/.370/.482 slash line in 2011, he showed that he can handle big league pitching. This might be the last chance to get him cheap, because I expect bigger and better things from him this year and into the future.

C Josh Thole is another under-the-radar kind of guy. He is not going to provide a lot of homeruns, but he will hit for a good average and will likely be undervalued in most leagues. He is your typical won’t hurt you second catcher and could be a good keeper in deeper leagues.

2B Reese Havens has been the second baseman of the future for the Mets ever since he was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft. Problem is, he has not been able to stay healthy for a full season. He owns a career .269/.366/.463 line in 4 minor league seasons, but has hit .301/.379/.505 in AA. For those of you with reserve or minor league spots, you might want to consider taking a flier on Havens.

SP Johan Santana is coming off shoulder surgery, an injury that has felled many a quality pitcher, such as Brandon Webb. That alone will scare many owners off. However, he pitched well in his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday, topping out around 92 mph. If his changeup is still working, he could start back up where he left off in 2010. He should come cheap and, at age 32, he should still have a few good years left in him.

I am not sold on the rest of the Mets starting pitchers. Mike Pelfrey, Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee have shown some flashes, but have not been consistent enough to be considered keepers. R.A. Dickey had a strong 2011 season, posting a 3.28 ERA, but at age 37 his better days are probably behind him.

Finally, OF David Wright is one guy who will likely be overvalued based on his name alone. His 2011 season was marred by back issues, which may keep his value down, but should also make you reconsider drafting him.

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DOs and DONTs: Atlanta Braves

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DOs and DONTs: Atlanta Braves

Posted on 04 March 2012 by Gary Marchese

The Atlanta Braves are coming off a miserable collapse.  Yes believe it or not the Boston Red Sox weren’t the only team that collapsed last year.  This is a look at their 40 man roster as we head into the 2012 season.  The other 29 teams in baseball have been covered by me and my colleagues so take a look at all 30 Dos and Don’ts before you draft your fantasy baseball team.  Here we go with the Atlanta Braves.

Do take a look at Jason Heyward.  He did have a bad year last year but he had a good rookie year and I would expect him to bounce back this year.  He still hit 14 homeruns last year after hitting 18 the year before.  I would expect him to be able to hit 20-25 consistently and bat around 275.  He suffered a sophomore slump but that is all behind him now and he is looking to have a productive 2012.

Don’t take Chipper Jones because of his name.  He has played regularly and with the Braves since 1995.  He has had a great career but he is getting older and just isn’t the same player.  He is still pretty productive though.  He hit 275 last year with 18 homeruns and 70 RBI.  He won’t play all the time though and is injury prone now.  If you take him your taking a big risk.

Do look at Dan Uggla for second base.  I wouldn’t put him at the top of my list but  he will give you great power from a position that doesn’t always do that.  Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Chase Utley are all better all around players but Uggla will provide huge power for your team.  Uggla last year hit 233 which was the lowest batting average of his career.  He still hit 36 homeruns though and drove in 82.  The lowest amount of homeruns he hit in a year was 27 with 82 being the lowest amount of runs driven in by him.  He is going to give you 25+ homeruns and 80+ RBI, that is good production from a second baseman.

Don’t look at Matt Diaz as anything more then a potential bench player.  He is a career 296 hitter but has never had more then 135 games played.  He also doesn’t hit for much power or drive in many runs.  13 homeruns and 58 RBI were his best numbers for a single season.

Do like what you see out of Freddie Freeman for a first baseman.  He could suffer a sophomore slump but especially in a keeper league he is a guy worth looking at.  Freeman last season hit 282 with a 346 on base percentage.  He had 21 homeruns and 76 RBI.  He is a monster of a guy and should be a good power first baseman for years to come.

Don’t go crazy over Jack Wilson.  He isn’t a bad player but he isn’t one of the top second baseman.  He is good with the glove but his career batting average is at 266, he won’t hit many homeruns or drive in many.  His best homerun year was 12 and the most RBI he had in a season was 62.  A decent player but nothing real special and on his own team I would take Uggla ahead of him.

Do take a look at Eric Hinske.  He is a veteran and if for nothing else a winner.  He always seems to be on the team that makes the World series although Atlanta had to collapse last season and ruin that for him a little.  He is a nice backup/bench player.  He is an outfielder with some pop and he is very good in the clutch.  He is worth taking a look at as an extra player.

Don’t know if I would take Tim Hudson.  He has been a good pitcher for a long time but he is getting older.  He is also coming off of back surgery and that is a red flag for me.  He may return to the Braves in May but that is risky.  He did have a good season last year going 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA.  In the last two years he has pitched a lot of innings.  He pitched 228 innings in 2010 and 215 last season.  He is a good pitcher but I wouldn’t take a risk with him right now.

Tommy Hanson is a very good young pitcher.  I would say Do take a good look at him.  The only concern I would have with him is that he did suffer a concussion in February in a car accident.  I don’t think it will affect him long term and he seems to be ok right now but you never know with a head injury.  I still wouldn’t mind him on my team especially in a keeper league where I can take good young players and have them on my team for years to come.

Don’t take Martin Prado on your team if your looking for power.  He is a guy that can hit for average but  he doesn’t have much power.  He isn’t going to drive in many runs for you either.  He isn’t going to steal bases at all either.  He is a guy to have on your team if your looking at only batting average.  I would pass on him though.  He is also a guy that the Braves talked about trading away.

Do take Michael Bourn especially if your looking to add speed to your team.  Bourn is an exciting young player to have.  Bourn in the last four years has stolen 41, 61, 52 and 61 bases in that order.  He has a career 271 batting average.  He isn’t going to hit homeruns or drive in runs but that isn’t his game.  I would especially take him if I am looking for speed and he would be a good backup player to have.

Don’t take too much of a look at the Braves bullpen other then their closer Craig Kimbrel.  He had good overall numbers but even he blew eight saves and contributed to the collapse.  I wouldn’t look to hard at their bullpen.

Do love what Brian McCann can bring to your team as a catcher.  He is a 286 career hitter and also has some power.  He will give you 20-25 homeruns and drive in 80+ runs.  That is very productive especially coming from the catchers position.

Jair Jurrjens is another guy I want to mention to finish this article up.  Jurrjens was in trade rumors this off-season.  He is a good young pitcher and I would say Do take him on your team.  Last season he was 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA.  He does have a bad right knee which has slowed him down, at the end of the last two seasons.  That would be my only real concern with him.  He is a guy that is at least worth looking at even as a reserve guy on your team.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and all the Dos and Don’ts that our team has done for you.  We have worked very hard to get all 30 teams to you before the fantasy drafts start in the next couple of weeks.  If you have any thoughts and anyone I may have missed please don’t hesitate to let me know.  You can comment under the article here on the website.  If you are a Twitter person like myself, you can reach me there @gmarchesej.

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