Posts Tagged ‘troy tulowitski’


2014 Baseball Awards – First Half

July 18, 2014

Since I’m following baseball closely due to numerous season long bets and because I like to rank things and think my opinion is important, I’ve decided to pretend what I would do if I had a vote in baseball’s major awards. These are my votes for the first half:

American League MVP

1. Mike Trout (.310, 22 HR, 73 RBI, 65 Runs, 10 SB)
2. Nelson Cruz (.287-28-74-56-3)
3. Jose Abreu (.292-29-73-49-1)
4. Michael Brantley (.322-15-63-63-10)
5. Edwin Encarnacion (.277-26-70-57-2)
6. Victor Martinez (.328-21-55-45-2)
7. Miguel Cabrera (.306-14-75-57-0)
8. Jose Altuve (.335-2-27-49-41)
9. Robinson Cano (.334-7-57-49-7)
10. Ian Kinsler (.303-11-51-64-10)

Comments: The legend that is Mike Trout. The last time I posted my MVP rankings (in late May), Trout was sitting just outside my top ten and now, at the All-Star break, he’s firmly #1 in both the AL MVP ranks and fantasy baseball rankings – and the Angels are arguably the hottest team in baseball. Nelson Cruz and Jose Abreu are pretty much neck and neck at #2 and #3, with Cruz getting the slight edge because the Orioles look playoff bound and he’s undoubtedly carrying that offense. In actuality, Abreu’s numbers have been more impressive considering he missed some games due to injury. If someone showed you Michael Brantley’s numbers and said they were Mike Trout’s numbers, you would believe them – until you saw that he’s only fanned 32 times in 80+ games (Trout has 95 Ks). Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Ian Kinsler have all put up ridiculous numbers for the Detroit Tigers. V-Mart has had a particularly amazing season hitting over .325 with 21 homers and only 23 strikeouts. Cabrera somewhat quietly leads MLB in RBI, but I expect him to separate himself from his teammates going forward. Robinson Cano’s power has disappeared, but hitting .334 playing half your games at Safeco Field is no small feat and he’s been the best hitter on a surprising Mariners team.

American League Cy Young

1. Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.12 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 154 Ks)
2. Chris Sale (8-1, 2.08, 0.84, 102)
3. Masahiro Tanaka (12-4, 2.51, 1.01, 135)
4. Scott Kazmir (11-3, 2.38, 0.98, 108)
5. Garrett Richards (11-2, 2.55, 1.06, 127)

Comments: Chris Sale has been lights out since returning to the rotation, but nobody has matched King Felix in mound production this year. Tanaka was a top Cy Young contender, but appears to be out of the season now. Scott Kazmir has been an amazing story: after pitching his way out of baseball for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, he returned last year to post some respectable comeback numbers, but is finally living up to the potential he flashed all the way back in 2007 when he posted 239 Ks in 206.2 innings with the Devil Rays. Garrett Richards has been another great story in the AL, seemingly coming out of nowhere to dominate the first half.

American League ROY

1. Jose Abreu (.292-29-73-49-1)
2. Masahiro Tanaka (12-4, 2.51, 1.01, 135)
3. Dellin Betances (4-0, 1.46, 0.70, 84)

Comments: Jose Abreu pretty much locked up the AL ROY as soon as Tanaka went on the DL. Abreu’s on pace to break Mark McGwire’s rookie record for homeruns in a season and also carries an RBI pace of 140+.. and he’s almost hitting .300. Pretty ridiculous. Miguel Cabrera would nod his head in approval at those offensive numbers. Betances has had an incredible season in relief with those 84 strikeouts coming in only 55.1 innings pitched.

National League MVP

1. Troy Tulowitski (.345-21-52-71-1)
2. Andrew McCutchen (.324-17-61-57-15)
3. Paul Goldschmidt (.308-16-61-66-8)
4. Giancarlo Stanton (.295-21-63-61-8)
5. Carlos Gomez (.304-14-48-58-17)
6. Todd Frazier (.290-19-53-57-14)
7. Charlie Blackmon (.306-14-52-53-18)
8. Anthony Rendon (.287-13-53-67-8)
9. Yasiel Puig (.309-12-52-53-7)
10. Billy Hamilton (.285-5-38-47-38)

Comments: The NL MVP race has become much closer since my last update when Troy Tulowitski was far and away the best candidate and Andrew McCutchen wasn’t even in the top 10. McCutchen has a tendency to heat up with the weather and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run away with his second consecutive NL MVP award. Charlie Blackmon is hitting .355 with a .996 OPS at home and .248 with a .633 OPS on the road – with such drastic splits and the Rockies out of contention, it’s hard to imagine Blackmon finishing the season in the top 10. Todd Frazier and Anthony Rendon have quietly had huge seasons have carried their offenses while their superstar teammates have been hurt (Joey Votto and Bryce Harper, respectively). Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon are having very similar seasons, but with such a close call, I have to go with the guy on my fantasy team!

National League Cy Young

1. Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 1.78, 0.83, 126)
2. Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83, 0.91, 115)
3. Johnny Cueto (10-6, 2.13, 0.89, 141)
4. Julio Teheran (9-6, 2.71, 1.04, 116)
5. Zack Greinke (11-5, 2.73, 1.17, 127)

Comments: Clayton Kershaw has been unreal since coming back from the disabled list…just look at his numbers over the past month: 5 wins, 0 losses, 0.22 ERA, 55 strikeouts, 5 walks in 41 innings. Absurd. Even with 40 less innings than his contemporaries, it’s hard to argue against Kershaw at this point. Nobody has been more dominant. Wainwright quietly continues to be one of the five best pitchers in baseball; he’s kind of the new Roy Halladay. Johnny Cueto has put together a remarkable year; he’s given up more than 3 ER in only one start this year and his K rate is way up.

National League ROY

1. Billy Hamilton
2. Jacob DeGrom
3. Chris Owings

Comments: Billy Hamilton has literally run away with the NL ROY award; his current pace: .285, 85 runs, 9 HR, 68 RBI, 68 SB – he’s proven all his skeptics wrong and he’s outperformed even his optimists’ offensive expectations. The power and average has been a really nice surprise and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him top those current runs scored and stolen base projections. Jacob Degrom has been solid for the Mets since his call up in the middle of May, posting 8 quality starts in 12 turns and a solid K/9 rate. Chris Owings is currently on the DL and likely to be passed on this list by Gregory Polanco at some point in the second half.


2014 Baseball Awards V.2

June 5, 2014

Since I’m following baseball closely due to numerous season long bets and because I like to rank things and think my opinion is important, I’ve decided to pretend what I would do if I had a vote in baseball’s major awards. I made my initial rankings right before I left for the World Series Of Poker a couple weeks ago and those rankings are reflected in parentheses. I’ll try to update and post my votes a couple times a month. I should note that I refuse to vote for pitchers in the MVP races or relief pitchers for Cy Young.

American League MVP

1. Nelson Cruz (1)
2. Jose Bautista (4)
3. Josh Donaldson (8)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (UR)
5. Miguel Cabrera (UR)
6. Michael Brantley (2)
7. Jose Abreu (6)
8. Brandon Moss (5)
9. Victor Martinez (9)
10. Alexei Ramirez (3)

Other: Brian Dozier (7), Melky Cabrera (10), Mike Trout

Comments: Nelson Cruz has been the best hitter in the American League and the Orioles are squarely in the playoff hunt, so he deserves to be number one, but if this were truly a “most valuable” award rather than a “best hitter” award, then Edwin Encarnacion has to be in the conversation. EE was hitting .260 with 2 HR and 15 RBI at the end of April and is now amongst the league leaders in all categories after a monstrous May. More importantly, his success has directly reflected that of the Toronto Blue Jays, a .500 team with Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera performing at an MVP level, but have emerged as the best team in the AL with Encarnacion’s production. After a forgettable April, Miguel Cabrera has also entered the MVP race. Victor Martinez is having an overlooked season, hitting over .330 with as many HR (13) as strikeouts (14). Mike Trout has gotten off to such a “slow” start that he’s only a fringe MVP candidate at the moment.

American League Cy Young

1. Masahiro Tanaka (1)
2. Felix Hernandez (2)
3. Chris Sale (UR)
4. Yu Darvish (5)
5. Mark Buehrle (UR)

Other: Sonny Gray (4), Max Scherzer (3), Scott Kazmir, Dallas Keuchel

Comments: Tanaka has absolutely dominated in his transition to the United States. I believed the hype, but I didn’t think he’d be overpowering MLB hitters like he has been. Sale arguably has put up the best numbers in all of baseball, but he’s still pitched less than 50 innings. It honestly pains me to give Buehrle a top five vote. Sure, he’s the only 10 game winner in baseball and boasts a sparkling 2.10 ERA, but he pitches to contact, resulting in a pathetic strikeout rate and allows a lot more baserunners than the pitchers ranked below him. Still, until those runners start crossing the plate, one has to give Buerhle credit for knowing what he’s doing. History suggests his weak peripheral numbers are going to catch up to him eventually and he’ll fall out of Cy Young race. Dallas Keuchel has been the best pitcher in baseball the past month and, remarkably, a Houston Astro pitcher is now in the Cy Young hunt.

American League ROY

1. Masahiro Tanaka (1)
2. Jose Abreu (2)
3. Dellin Betances (UR)

Other: Yangervis Solarte (3), George Springer, Xander Bogaerts, Collin McHugh

Comments: Tanaka and Abreu are easily the top two choices with their Cy Young and MVP caliber performances so far. Betances has put up crazy numbers for a non-closing relief pitcher. Only three closers have been more valuable to their fantasy teams and Betances doesn’t even have a single save. He’s had more fantasy value than legitimate Cy Young contenders like Sonny Gray and Max Scherzer. He’s almost striking out 2 batters an inning. Absurd. Springer got off to a rough start and has struck out in about a third of his ABs, but he had a huge May that would put him squarely in the ROY race if he can maintain an even remotely similar pace. The one stolen base is a disappointment though.

National League MVP

1. Troy Tulowitski (1)
2. Giancarlo Stanton (2)
3. Paul Goldschmidt (6)
4. Yasiel Puig (3)
5. Carlos Gomez (5)
6. Charlie Blackmon (4)
7. Justin Upton (7)
8. Hunter Pence (UR)
9. Michael Morse (UR)
10. Freddie Freeman (10)

Other: Justin Morneau (8), Dee Gordon (9), Ryan Braun

Comments: Nothing too exciting going on in the NL MVP race since my initial rankings. The most notable change is the cooling off of the Colorado hitters. Tulowitski has dropped to a mere mortal pace while Blackmon and Morneau have become ice cold and the Rockies have fallen out of the playoff hunt. Meanwhile, the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants, who had no representatives in my initial top ten, now have two players getting votes.

National League Cy Young

1. Johnny Cueto (1)
2. Adam Wainwright (2)
3. Tim Hudson (UR)
4. Julio Teheran (5)
5. Zack Greinke (3)

Other: Jose Fernandez (4), Michael Wacha, Kyle Lohse, Jason Hammel

Comments: Cueto has been the best pitcher in baseball so far, but I honestly can’t see him holding off Wainwright too much longer. Hudson is similar to Buehrle except he’s not allowing baserunners. He hasn’t been overpowering, but the National League has been helpless against him so far. Jose Fernandez sadly falls out of the race for good.

National League ROY

1. Billy Hamilton (1)
2. Chris Owings (2)
3. David Hale (3)

Other: None

Comments: This race has been uninspiring so far. Hamilton gets the edge due to his game-changing speed (22 steals), but even that hasn’t resulted in a lot of run scoring. Things could heat up soon with the recent promotion of Oscar Taveras and Gregory Polanco, Eddie Butler, and Andrew Heaney all expected to make their debuts in June.