Sunday, May 27, 2012

May All-Stars

This week I will be posting my May All-Stars. These are the players that I think would be deserving if the All-Star game took place today. The stats are as of the morning of May 27th.

Also, Texas Rangers Trades is now on twitter. The twitter name (or I guess it is called handle) is @trtrades so make sure to follow it. I will be tweeting Rangers news, rumors, links to my blog posts whenever a new one gets posted, and what to look forward to for the next week on Texas Rangers Trades.

American League:


C: AJ Pierzynski, CWS (.312 AVG, 8 HR, 32 RBI) – AJ leads AL catchers in batting average and has some very good power numbers to go along with them, as he holds the Triple Crown for AL catchers.

1B: Paul Konerko, CWS (.396 AVG, 10 HR, 29 RBI) – Paul leads all of baseball in batting average, and like Pierzynski, Paul also holds the Triple Crown for his position in the American League.

2B: Robinson Cano, NYY (.302 AVG, 7 HR, 20 RBI) – While Robby Cano doesn’t lead all three major categories for second basemen, he does have the best all-around stats, with the best batting average, and is close to having the best power numbers.

SS: Elvis Andrus, TEX (.302 AVG, 1 HR, 22 RBI) – This was a tough choice between Andrus and Jeter, but despite a lower batting average and four less homers, Elvis has more RBIs, stolen bases, and runs, so I gave Elvis the starting nod.

3B: Adrian Beltre, TEX (.319 AVG, 9 HR, 31 RBI) – Beltre has more home runs than any other American League third baseman, although Evan Longoria may have had something to say about that had he stayed healthy, as well as one of the top the averages, and the second most RBIs.

DH: Edwin Encarnacion, TOR (.271 AVG, 15 HR, 38 RBI) – Even though Edwin has a sub-par batting average for an All-Star, he would be the AL leader in home runs and RBIs if not for Josh Hamilton being absolutely amazing.

OF: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.376 AVG, 20 HR, 53 RBI) – Josh is normally great. Josh in a contract year is even better. It’s just too bad he can’t be in a contract year every season, because he is putting up numbers that have him on pace for not only a career year, but one of the best seasons of all time.

OF: Andruw Jones, NYY (.309 AVG, 14 HR, 31 RBI) – How Andruw has performed so well with his age and his stats over the last few years, I don’t know, but he is somehow hitting over .300 with some of the best power numbers in baseball.

OF: Austin Jackson, DET (.331 AVG, 5 HR, 17 RBI) – Austin doesn’t have the power numbers of the other two starting outfielders, but he does have a great batting average. He recently got injured, however, which puts a hamper on his All-Star game chances.

SP: Justin Verlander, DET (5-2, 2.15 ERA, 75 K) – Verlander is about the only thing going right with the Detroit pitching staff right now. He is an absolutely dominant pitcher, and is definitely the best one in the game today.


C: Joe Mauer, MIN (.297 AVG, 2 HR, 20 RBI)
1B: Prince Fielder, DET (.311 AVG, 7 HR, 28 RBI)
       Mitch Moreland, TEX (.309 AVG, 8 HR, 19 RBI)
2B: Dustin Pedroia, BOS (.295 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI)
       Ian Kinsler, TEX (.286 AVG, 5 HR, 18 RBI)
SS: Derek Jeter, NYY (.342 AVG, 5 HR, 18 RBI)
      Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE (.301 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI)
3B: Miguel Cabrera, DET (.310 AVG, 8 HR, 37 RBI)
       Mark Trumbo, LAA (.326 AVG, 6 HR, 19 RBI)
DH: Billy Butler, KC (.301 AVG, 10 HR, 33 RBI)
        David Ortiz, BOS (.309 AVG, 10 HR, 30 RBI)
OF: BJ Upton, TB (.303 AVG, 4 HR, 16 RBI)
       Nelson Cruz, TEX (.272 AVG, 6 HR, 32 RBI)
       Josh Reddick, OAK (.271 AVG, 13 HR, 26 RBI)
       Denard Span, MIN (.305 AVG, 1 HR, 12 RBI)
SP: Chris Sale, CWS (5-2, 2.50 ERA, 46 K)
       Jered Weaver, LAA (6-1, 2.61 ERA, 57 K)
       David Price, TB (6-3, 2.71 ERA, 57 K)
       Jason Hammel, BAL (6-1, 2.78 ERA, 53 K)
       CJ Wilson, LAA (5-4, 2.90 ERA, 54 K)
       Yu Darvish, TEX (6-2, 3.05 ERA, 63 K)
       Justin Vargas, SEA (5-4, 3.39 ERA, 48 K)
RP: Jim Johnson, BAL (16 SV, 0.87 ERA, 14 K)
      Fernando Rodney, TB (15 SV, 1.13 ERA, 23 K)
      Chris Perez, CLE (16 SV, 2.79 ERA, 19 K)
      Joe Nathan, TEX (10 SV, 2.29 ERA, 24 K)
      Robbie Ross, TEX (5-0, 1.85 ERA, 17 K)

Players Per Team:
Texas Rangers – 9 (3 starters)
Detroit Tigers – 4 (2)
Chicago White Sox – 3 (2)
New York Yankees – 3 (2)
Baltimore Orioles – 3
Los Angeles Angels – 3
Tampa Bay Rays – 3
Boston Red Sox – 2
Cleveland Indians – 2
Minnesota Twins – 2
Toronto Blue Jays – 1 (1)
Kansas City Royals – 1
Oakland A’s – 1
Seattle Mariners – 1

National League:


C: Carlos Ruiz, PHI (.362 AVG, 7 HR, 29 RBI) – The Phillies have an option on Ruiz for next season, and at the rate things are going with him, I think they’ll pick it up. He is hitting closer to .400 than he is to .300, which is amazing for a guy who has a .272 career average.

1B: Joey Votto, CIN (.321 AVG, 7 HR, 28 RBI) – First base is a pretty weak position in the National League this year, with Lance Berkman being hurt for the majority of the early part of the season, and both Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols moving to the AL, and Votto is a major beneficiary of that. He has All-Star numbers for most years, but definitely not All-Star starter numbers for first base.

2B: Omar Infante, MIA (.338 AVG, 6 HR, 20 RBI) – Omar has been the only hitter in the Marlins lineup that has been consistently good this year, putting up a solid average and good power numbers.

SS: Starlin Castro, CHC (.314 AVG, 2 HR, 26 RBI) – Like this position in the AL, it was a tough choice for the starter at shortstop, and Castro’s slim RBI lead is what put him over the top and above Rafael Furcal.

3B: David Wright, NYM (.390 AVG, 5 HR, 28 RBI) – Before this last week, Wright was hitting above .400 with an OBP above .500, and even with a mediocre week, he still leads the NL in batting average.

DH: Andre Ethier, LAD (.323 AVG, 9 HR, 41 RBI) – Andre leads the NL in RBIs, and even without a .300+ batting average that usually warrants a starting position on the All-Star team.

OF: Matt Kemp, LAD (.359 AVG, 12 HR, 28 RBI) – Kemp has had a poor May following his torrid April, as he has both slumped and now is injured. His April was good enough, however, to make up for him and keep him in the NL’s starting lineup.

OF: Melky Cabrera, SF (.356 AVG, 3 HR, 24 RBI) – Melky is third in the National League in batting average, and despite only 3 home runs, he has a decent number of RBIs.

OF: Andrew McCutchen, PIT (.338 AVG, 7 HR, 24 RBI) – Even without his 10 steals, McCutchen has a good case for being an All-Star starter with his .338 average and solid power numbers, but his stolen bases lock him into this spot.

SP: Gio Gonzalez, WAS (6-1, 1.98 ERA, 69 K) – Even though Gio doesn’t lead the league in ERA (that’s Brandon Beachy), he does have a better record and 25 more strikeouts.


C: Jonathon Lucroy, MIL (.348 AVG, 5 HR, 30 RBI)
     AJ Ellis, LAD (.317 AVG, 5 HR, 23 RBI)
1B: Adam LaRoche, WAS (.288 AVG, 8 HR, 35 RBI)
       Carlos Lee, HOU (.301 AVG, 4 HR, 22 RBI)
       Yonder Alonso, SD (.302 AVG, 1 HR, 14 RBI)
2B: Jose Altuve, HOU (.309 AVG, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
       Brandon Phillips, CIN (.273 AVG, 4 HR, 20 RBI)
SS: Rafael Furcal, STL (.339 AVG, 3 HR, 22 RBI)
       Ian Desmond, WAS (.275 AVG, 8 HR, 23 RBI)
       Troy Tulowitzki, COL (.279 AVG, 6 HR, 24 RBI)
3B: David Freese, STL (.273 AVG, 10 HR, 33 RBI)
       Chipper Jones, ATL (.307 AVG, 5 HR, 24 RBI)
OF: Ryan Braun, MIL (.312 AVG, 13 HR, 34 RBI)
       Carlos Beltran, STL (.291 AVG, 14 HR, 38 RBI)
       Giancarlo Stanton, MIA (.296 AVG, 11 HR, 34 RBI)
SP: Brandon Beachy, ATL (5-2, 1.77 ERA, 44 K)
      Clayton Kershaw, LAD (4-2, 1.97 ERA, 57 K)
      Wandy Rodriguez, HOU (4-4, 2.14 ERA, 45 K)
      Cole Hamels, PHI (7-1, 2.17 ERA, 66 K)
      Chris Capuano, LAD (6-1, 2.25 ERA, 50 K)
      Wade Miley, ARI (6-1, 2.41 ERA, 32 K)
      Johnny Cueto, CIN (5-2, 2.53 ERA, 41 K)
RP: Aroldis Chapman, CIN (4-0, 0.00 ERA, 43 K)
       Craig Kimbrel, ATL (13 SV, 2.12 ERA, 26 K)
       Jonathon Papelbon, PHI (14 SV, 2.33 ERA, 23 K)
       Brett Myers, HOU (12 SV, 1.59 ERA, 14 K)
       Santiago Casilla, SF (11 SV, 1.37 ERA, 17 K)

Players Per Team:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 5 (2 starters)
Cincinnati Reds – 4 (1)
Houston Astros – 4
Philadelphia Phillies – 3 (1)
Washington Nationals – 3 (1)
Atlanta Braves – 3
St. Louis Cardinals – 3
Miami Marlins – 2 (1)
San Francisco Giants – 2 (1)
Milwaukee Brewers – 2
Chicago Cubs – 1 (1)
New York Mets – 1 (1)
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1 (1)
Arizona Diamondbacks – 1
Colorado Rockies – 1
San Diego Padres – 1

Come back next week for my May Awards.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mike Adams Interview

At spring training in March, Rangers pitcher Mike Adams was nice enough to give me a few minutes of his time for an interview on the backfields in Surprise. 

Me: What was the toughest part about pitching for four different organizations in 2006?

Mike: Just the uncertainty, not knowing where you’re going to be and moving around a lot.

Me: What is your best pitch and how was it developed?

Mike: My slider-cutter. It’s come a long way. It’s something that took a few years to develop but now I have a pretty good grasp on it. It’s my go-to pitch.

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

Mike: One of the World Series games. That’s what we all play the game to be in. Just the experience of that. Those were by far the most fun games I’ve ever played in.

Me: Who are the three toughest hitters you’ve faced and why?

Mike: I’d say Miguel Cabrera. He’s one of those guys that’s just very tough to get out. Albert Pujols. Same thing. He’s one of the top hitters of all time. And Barry Bonds.

Me: What have you worked on over the offseason and why?

Mike: This offseason was really more about getting back in shape, trying to develop my changeup a little. And right now, I’m just trying to put that to use.

Me: What has been your favorite stadium to play in and why?

Mike: San Diego. Petco Park. That’s one of the more beautiful places in baseball. It’s fun to play there. The weather’s great every day. It just makes it easy to come to the park.

Me: What is the best thing about being a major leaguer and why?

Mike: Everything. Everything about being a major leaguer is fun. This is something you dream of as a kid. Every kid who plays baseball wants to be in the big leagues. Being able to have a job where I play a kids game, you can’t beat that.

Me: Other than baseball, which sports did you play growing up and which were you best at?

Mike: I played basketball and ran track, but I was a basketball player. I went to college on a basketball scholarship. It didn’t even have baseball scholarships. That was actually my true love.

Me: What college did you go to?

Mike: Texas A&M Kingsville.

Me: What was your favorite team growing up?

Mike: The Texas Rangers. It’s kind of a funny coincidence how it all worked out. This is the team I grew up rooting for. In the summers, I would go to Arlington to watch baseball.

Me: Who are your three favorite teammates since you joined the league and why?

Mike: Wow. One of them was Trevor Hoffman. (pauses and thinks) Edward Mujica from San Diego. And then probably Luke Gregerson from San Diego.

Me: Thank you so much for doing this interview. I really appreciate it.

Mike: No problem.

I would like to thank Mike again for allowing me to interview him. He was very friendly and seemed like a great guy.

Come back next week for my May All-Stars.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

April Awards

This week I will post my April Awards, and even though it is called the April Awards, the stats shown will be as of the morning of May 13th, and will include the first half of May.

Rangers Awards:

MVP: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.402 AVG, 18 HR, 41 RBI) – Josh is the MVP of all of baseball and leads all of baseball in all three Triple Crown categories, so he is obviously the Rangers MVP.
Runner-up: Adrian Beltre, TEX (.313 AVG, 6 HR, 20 RBI)

Cy Young: Yu Darvish, TEX (5-1, 2.84 ERA, 51 K) – Darvish is tied for the AL lead in wins, he leads all Rangers starters in both ERA and strikeouts, and this is only his first month in the big leagues.
Runner-up: Alexi Ogando, TEX (1-0, 0.48 ERA, 19 K)

Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, TEX (5-1, 2.84 ERA, 51 K) – Darvish is the AL ROY, and so there is no question whether or not he is the Rangers ROY.
Runner-up: Robbie Ross, TEX (4-0, 2.45 ERA, 11 K)

AL Awards:

AL MVP: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.402 AVG, 18 HR, 41 RBI) – Josh is the leader in all three Triple Crown categories, and second place in each isn’t even close, so there really is no question here.
Runner-up: David Ortiz, BOS (.349 AVG, 7 HR, 24 RBI)

AL Cy Young: Jered Weaver, LAA (5-0, 1.60 ERA, 47 K) – Jered is second in ERA, and has four more wins than Drew Smyly, the ERA leader, and he also has a no-hitter under his belt.
Runner-up: Jake Peavy (4-0, 1.89 ERA, 44 K)

AL Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, TEX (5-1, 2.84 ERA, 51 K) – Yu is tied for the AL lead in wins, in the top 15 in ERA, and is third in strikeouts, all in his rookie season.
Runner-up: Tommy Milone, OAK (5-2, 3.92 ERA, 25 K)

Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, BAL (22-12, 1st place) – Buck has taken a team that was expected to be a distant 5th place, and has them in a tie for the best record in the American League a month and a half into the season.
Runner-up: Manny Acta, CLE (18-15, 1st place)

NL Awards:

NL MVP: Matt Kemp, LAD (.365 AVG, 12 HR, 27 RBI) – After a torrid start, Kemp has slowed down quite a bit in the month of May, but is still third in average, tied for first in homers, and tied for third in RBIs.
Runner-up: David Wright, NYM (.402 AVG, 4 HR, 21 RBI)

NL Cy Young: Johnny Cueto, CIN (4-0, 1.12 ERA, 31 K) – Cueto is yet to lose a game, has an ERA near 1.00, and has stayed healthy, unlike last year when he was about 10 innings away from qualifying for the ERA title, which he would have won.
Runner-up: Lance Lynn, STL (6-0, 1.40 ERA, 37 K)

NL Rookie of the Year: Wade Miley, ARI (3-1, 2.76 ERA, 22 K) – Miley has been far and away the best rookie pitcher in the NL, with a sub-3.00 ERA, and those numbers to go along with nothing but solid play from the position player rookies, Miley is a no-brainer at this point in the season.
Runner-up: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, NYM (.303 AVG, 2 HR, 12 RBI)

NL Manager of the Year: Don Mattingly, LAD (22-11, 1st place) – Even though the Dodgers aren’t necessarily a surprise team, they do have the best record in baseball and that makes Mattingly deserving.
Runner-up: Davey Johnson, WAS (21-12, 1st place)

Come back next week for an interview with Rangers pitcher Mike Adams (and I really mean it this time).