Monday, June 25, 2012

June All-Stars

This week I will post my June All-Stars. These are as if the All-Star teams were to be made today and who I think would be most deserving.

American League:


CATCHER: Joe Mauer, MIN (.316 AVG, 3 HR, 33 RBI) 5-time - Joe has had a good comeback year and is leading all AL catchers in batting average. It doesn't hurt that catcher has been a weak position in the AL so far this year, either.

FIRST BASE: Paul Konerko, CWS (.342 AVG, 13 HR, 39 RBI) 6-time - Paul is having another amazing year, and just never seems to age, as he is hitting well over .300 with solid power numbers for the surprisingly good White Sox this year.

SECOND BASE: Robinson Cano, NYY (.299 AVG, 16 HR, 36 RBI) 3-time - Like Joe and Paul, Robinson is at a position that is pretty weak in the American League this year, and therefore has little competition. So Cano's very good season that is All-Star worthy most years but not starter worthy, is starter worthy this year.

THIRD BASE: Adrian Beltre, TEX (.323 AVG, 13 HR, 48 RBI) 3-time - Beltre has been the best player at third base for a while now, and this one is a very strong position this year, with Miguel Cabrera and Mark Trumbo both having great years as well. Adrian is hitting well over .300 and has very, very good power numbers.

SHORTSTOP: Elvis Andrus, TEX (.302 AVG, 1 HR, 29 RBI) 2-time - Despite Jeter having another very good year, Elvis slightly edges him out as the best shortstop so far this year, due to a slight RBI lead and more defensive range and ability.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Edwin Encarnacion, TOR (.282 AVG, 21 HR, 50 RBI) 1-time - Edwin seems to have finally put all of his talent together, and in a contract year, too. He has the best power numbers of all DH's, and a solid average to go along with them.

OUTFIELD: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.319 AVG, 22 HR, 64 RBI) 5-time - The best player in baseball through 2 months, even a miserable June for Josh hasn't been able to bump him from a starting spot. Josh still has a sizeable RBI lead and is right around the top in home runs, while keeping his average well above .300.

OUTFIELD: Adam Jones, BAL (.300 AVG, 19 HR, 40 RBI) 2-time - Adam has played a key role in the Orioles being the biggest surprise team in baseball so far, with his .300 average and top 10 home run total.

OUTFIELD: Mike Trout, LAA (.338 AVG, 7 HR, 29 RBI) 1-time - Unfortunately, Mike has turned the Angels season around. When he was called up, the Angels were doing pitifully, but since then Trout has been a force at the plate and in the outfield, and the Angels have been on fire.

PITCHER: Chris Sale, CWS (8-2, 2.24 ERA, 89 K) 1-time - Sale leads the AL in ERA, is 2 wins away from the lead in that category, and has a solid K/per9. He definitely deserves to start this year's All-Star game.

C: AJ Pierzynski, CWS (.288 AVG, 12 HR, 41 RBI) 3-time
1B: Prince Fielder, DET (.304 AVG, 11 HR, 45 RBI) 4-time
       Chris Davis, BAL (.272 AVG, 12 HR, 31 RBI) 1-time
2B: Jason Kipnis, CLE (.276 AVG, 11 HR, 41 RBI) 1-time
       Ian Kinsler, TEX (.268 AVG, 7 HR, 35 RBI) 3-time
3B: Miguel Cabrera, DET (.301 AVG, 15 HR, 56 RBI) 7-time
       Mark Trumbo, LAA (.316 AVG, 17 HR, 49 RBI) 1-time
       Kyle Seager, SEA (.262 AVG, 10 HR, 45 RBI) 1-time
SS: Derek Jeter, NYY (.305 AVG, 7 HR, 25 RBI) 13-time
       Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE (.296 AVG, 9 HR, 33 RBI) 2-time
DH: David Ortiz, BOS (.300 AVG, 18 HR, 49 RBI) 7-time
        Billy Butler, KC (.295 AVG, 14 HR, 44 RBI) 1-time
OF: Josh Willingham, MIN (.278 AVG, 15 HR, 49 RBI) 1-time
        Nelson Cruz, TEX (.262 AVG, 11 HR, 47 RBI) 2-time
        Jose Bautista, TOR (.238 AVG, 23 HR, 55 RBI) 3-time
SP: Jered Weaver, LAA (7-1, 2.40 ERA, 60 K) 3-time
       CJ Wilson, LAA (8-4, 2.44 ERA, 79 K) 2-time
       Justin Verlander, DET (8-4, 2.52 ERA, 113 K) 5-time
       Brandon McCarthy, OAK (6-3, 2.54 ERA, 52 K) 1-time
       David Price, TB (10-4, 2.95 ERA, 90 K) 3-time
       Matt Harrison, TEX (10-3, 3.24 ERA, 58 K) 1-time
RP: Jim Johnson, BAL (22 SV, 1.10 ERA, 20 K) 1-time
        Fernando Rodney, TB (21 SV, 1.07 ERA, 33 K) 1-time
        Joe Nathan, TEX (16 SV, 2.05 ERA, 37 K) 5-time
        Ernesto Frieri, LAA (9 SV, 0.00 ERA, 38 K) 1-time
        Robbie Ross, TEX (6-0, 1.13 ERA, 32 K) 1-time

Players per Team:
Texas Rangers - 8(3 starters)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - 5(1)
Chicago White Sox - 3(2)
Baltimore Orioles - 3(1)
Detroit Tigers - 3
Minnesota Twins - 2(1)
New York Yankees - 2(1)
Cleveland Indians - 2
Tampa Bay Rays - 2
Toronto Blue Jays - 1(1)
Boston Red Sox - 1
Kansas City Royals - 1
Oakland Athletics - 1
Seattle Mariners - 1

National League:


CATCHER: Carlos Ruiz, PHI (.348 AVG, 9 HR, 39 RBI) 1-time - Carlos has had a big breakout year, and has been about the only thing going right for the Phillies so far this year, hitting near .350 with a good amount of RBIs and HRs.

FIRST BASE: Joey Votto, CIN (.359 AVG, 14 HR, 47 RBI) 3-time - Votto has become far and away the best player in baseball over the past month, as he has absolutely caught fire, and is now hitting near .360 with good power numbers.

SECOND BASE: Brandon Phillips, CIN (.283 AVG, 10 HR, 44 RBI) 3-time - Brandon is another Reds player who is having a great season after signing a big extension earlier this year. He is currently near the top among all NL 2B in batting average, home runs, and RBIs.

THIRD BASE: David Wright, NYM (.360 AVG, 8 HR, 41 RBI) 6-time - Hitting near .400 at the end of May, Wright, like Josh Hamilton, has come back down to earth a bit in June, but is still no doubt deserving to start the All-Star game.

SHORTSTOP: Starlin Castro, CHC (.304 AVG, 6 HR, 38 RBI) 2-time - Starlin is on an absolutely awful team, and is really the only bright spot in their future. He has upped his power some this year to go along with his brilliant contact ability and defense.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Ryan Braun, MIL (.319 AVG, 20 HR, 52 RBI) 5-time - Even though he took PEDs and is a cheater who doesn't deserve to make the All-Star game, using PEDs has not kept people off All-Star rosters in the past, so his stats put him on the team.

OUTFIELD: Carlos Beltran, STL (.308 AVG, 20 HR, 56 RBI) 7-time - Beltran has filled the shoes of Pujols pretty nicely in the Cardinals lineup, leads the NL in home runs and RBIs and is no question All-Star starter worthy.

OUTFIELD: Carlos Gonzalez, COL (.328 AVG, 17 HR, 52 RBI) 1-time - CarGo is one of the best players in baseball, and has done nothing but solidify that this year with his Triple Crown type numbers (although he leads none of the three categories).

OUTFIELD: Andrew McCutchen, PIT (.340 AVG, 13 HR, 45 RBI) 2-time - McCutchen made the All-Star team for the first time last year, and has done nothing but improve. So far this year he has a stellar .340 batting average along with some very solid power numbers.

PITCHER: RA Dickey, NYM (11-1, 2.31 ERA, 106 K) 1-time - RA Dickey has absolutely dominated National League lineups with his knuckleball so far this year, and he now leads the NL in wins, is in the top 3 in K's, and in the top 10 in ERA.


C: Buster Posey, SF (.295 AVG, 10 HR, 40 RBI) 1-time
     Yadier Molina, STL (.318 AVG, 10 HR, 39 RBI) 4-time
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, ARI (.290 AVG, 10 HR, 32 RBI) 1-time
       Bryan LaHair, CHC (.286 AVG, 13 HR, 28 RBI) 1-time
2B: Aaron Hill, ARI (.291 AVG, 10 HR, 35 RBI) 2-time
       Jose Altuve, HOU (.309 AVG, 5 HR, 23 RBI) 1-time
       Omar Infante, MIA (.290 AVG, 7 HR, 25 RBI) 2-time
3B: David Freese, STL (.279 AVG, 13 HR, 46 RBI) 1-time
       Chase Headley, SD (.269 AVG, 7 HR, 35 RBI) 1-time
SS: Ian Desmond, WSH (.263 AVG, 11 HR, 36 RBI) 1-time
       Troy Tulowitzki, COL (.287 AVG, 8 HR, 27 RBI) 3-time
OF: Andre Ethier, LAD (.294 AVG, 10 HR, 55 RBI) 3-time
        Jason Kubel, ARI (.299 AVG, 10 HR, 46 RBI) 1-time
        Matt Holliday, STL (.299 AVG, 12 HR, 47 RBI) 6-time
        Melky Cabrera, SF (.351 AVG, 6 HR, 35 RBI) 1-time
SP: Brandon Beachy, ATL (5-5, 2.00 ERA, 68 K) 1-time
       Ryan Dempster, CHC (3-3, 2.11 ERA, 66 K) 3-time
       James McDonald, PIT (6-3, 2.19 ERA, 83 K) 1-time
       Wade Miley, ARI (9-3, 2.19 ERA, 64 K) 1-time
       Johnny Cueto, CIN (9-3, 2.21 ERA, 76 K) 1-time
       Matt Cain, SF (9-2, 2.27 ERA, 107 K) 3-time
RP: Craig Kimbrel, ATL (21 SV, 1.33 ERA, 44 K) 2-time
        Santiago Casilla, SF (20 SV, 2.79 ERA, 27 K) 1-time
        Joel Hanrahan, PIT (19 SV, 2.25 ERA, 34 K) 2-time
        Tyler Clippard, WSH (12 SV, 1.95 ERA, 39 K) 2-time
        Craig Stammen, WSH (1.42 ERA, 38 IP, 39 K) 1-time

Players per Team:
St. Louis Cardinals - 4(1 starter)
Arizona Diamondbacks - 4
San Francisco Giants - 4
Cincinnati Reds - 3(2)
Pittsburgh Pirates - 3(1)
Washington Nationals - 3
New York Mets - 2(2)
Chicago Cubs - 2(1)
Colorado Rockies - 2(1)
Atlanta Braves - 2
Milwaukee Brewers - 1(1)
Philadelphia Phillies - 1(1)
Houston Astros - 1
Los Angeles Dodgers - 1
Miami Marlins - 1
San Diego Padres - 1

Come back next week for my June Awards.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jared Hoying Interview

This week I will post a brief interview with Myrtle Beach outfielder Jared Hoying which took place back in Spring Training. Jared has been having a very good season, hitting .289 (15th in the Carolina League), with 4 home runs and 16 RBIs for the High-A Pelicans. Jared was very nice to do this interview with me and I would like to thank him for doing so.

Me: Is there anything specific you've been working on so far in the offseason, and if so, what is it?

Jared: Just tried to get bigger and stronger and faster. Continue to work out with a bunch of weights, and run a bunch. Stuff like that, and just overall fitness and constant practice on my swing.

Me: What is the worst injury you've ever had and why?

Jared: Last year, I was sliding head first into a base, and kind of dislocated my shoulder. It's been about the worst injury I've ever had, luckily, so I've been pretty fortunate.

Me: How much time did you miss for that?

Jared: I missed about two weeks, and it lingered with me throughout the whole season.

Me: So it was early on in the year?

Jared: Yeah.

Me: Which minor league ballpark has been your favorite to play in?

Jared: I love Spokane. I was in Spokane my first year and they have great fans up there. That was by far my favorite ballpark to play at.

Me: Who are the three toughest pitchers you've faced and why?

Jared: I'm not too good with names, but last year I got to face Stephen Strasburg in a rehab start and he was good. He's the real deal, so it was fun to face him.

Me: Who are your three favorite teammates since you've joined the Rangers organization and why?

Jared: It's hard to name a name. I love my teammates. We get along great, and I've loved playing with everybody.

Me: Last one: What's been the best game so far of your professional career and why?

Jared: Had a lot of good ones. One that sticks out is my first home run up in Spokane. That was just one moment I'll never forget.

Me: Thank you.

Jared: Yep. No problem.

I would like to thank Jared again for giving me some of his time to do this interview.

Come back next week for my San Francisco and Oakland trip report.

Monday, June 04, 2012

May Awards

This week I will be posting my May Awards. These are who I think would deserve the awards if the season were to end today. 

Rangers Awards: 

MVP: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.354 AVG, 21 HR, 57 RBI) – Josh has been by far the best player in the American League so far this year. As he is the AL MVP, there is no question whether or not he is the Rangers MVP.
Runner-up: Nelson Cruz, TEX (.270 AVG, 8 HR, 36 RBI)

Cy Young: Yu Darvish, TEX (7-3, 3.34 ERA, 73 K) – Darvish has been the only consistent pitcher in the Rangers starting rotation, with seven wins, an ERA in the low 3.00s, and more strikeouts than innings pitched.
Runner-up: Joe Nathan, TEX (11 SV, 1.99 ERA, 27 K)

Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, TEX (7-3, 3.34 ERA, 73 K) – Like Josh with the MVP award, Darvish is the winner of this award for the entire American League, which makes him the default Rangers ROY.
Runner-up: Robbie Ross, TEX (5-0, 1.63 ERA, 18 K)

AL Awards:

MVP: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.354 AVG, 21 HR, 57 RBI) – Josh is second in the league in batting average, first in home runs, and first in RBIs. He is a legitimate Triple Crown threat if he can stay healthy.
Runner-up: Miguel Cabrera, DET (.318 AVG, 11 HR, 44 RBI)

Cy Young: Chris Sale, CWS (7-2, 2.30 ERA, 69 K) – Sale had an outstanding month of May (1.71 ERA), which lowered his solid 3.12 ERA one month into the season down to a Cy Young caliber 2.30, and the lowest ERA in the American League.
Runner-up: David Price, TB (7-3, 2.44 ERA, 62 K)

Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, TEX (7-3, 3.34 ERA, 73 K) – As I mentioned in the Rangers awards, Darvish has been consistent all year long. Yu has All-Star-caliber numbers as a rookie, which is very rare.
Runner-up: Mike Trout, LAA (.318 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI)

Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, BAL (30-24, 2nd place) – The Orioles were supposed to be one of the worst teams in baseball, with only the Padres, Twins, and maybe Cubs worse, but Buck has them playing well enough to be in position for one of the two wild cards two months into the season.
Runner-up: Robin Ventura, CWS (31-23, 1st place)

NL Awards:

MVP: Joey Votto, CIN (.361 AVG, 9 HR, 33 RBI, .476 OBP) – Even though Joey hasn’t put up the kind of power numbers he normally has to this point in the year, his OBP of .476 is absolutely ridiculous.
Runner-up: Carlos Gonzalez, COL (.332 AVG, 14 HR, 45 RBI)

Cy Young: Gio Gonzalez, WAS (7-2, 2.31 ERA, 84 K) – The Nationals definitely made a good move when they acquired Gio from the A’s this offseason. He is currently tied for 4th in the NL in wins, 3rd in ERA, and 1st in strikeouts.
Runner-up: James McDonald, PIT (5-2, 2.14 ERA, 71 K)

Rookie of the Year: Wade Miley, ARI (6-2, 2.72 ERA, 36 K) – The Arizona southpaw has been a bit of a surprise, with an ERA that has consistently been under 3.00, and a great 6-2 record on a 25-29 team.
Runner-up: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, NYM (.299 AVG, 3 HR, 19 RBI)

Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle, PIT (27-26, 2nd place) – Even though the Pirates are only a game over .500, that is still good enough for second place in the NL Central, and is much better than what was expected of them.
Runner-up: Dusty Baker, CIN (30-23, 1st place)

Come back next week for an interview with Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Rangers High Class-A affiliate) outfielder Jared Hoying.