Sunday, May 15, 2011

ABC's of MLB at the 1/4 pole

We are at the 1/4 Pole in MLB and I thought we could take a look together at the ABC's of the first 1/4...

A is for Alvarez, Pedro...The Pirates 3B is hitting .200 with only 1 HR, and a measly 7 RBI's...He is K'ing 4 times for every BB

Arencibia, J.P....Jays rookie C is off to brutal .229 start, but his 6 HR's are a bright spot

B is for Buck, John...ex-Jays C is hitting a brutal .226, but his 5 HR's does project to 20 for the season

Beltran, Carlos...Mets are getting a good start from Beltran as he looks to be healthy for the first time in ages... .294 avg, 8 HR's, and 24 RBI projects to 30+ HR's with 100 RBI's which is where you would expect a healthy Beltran to be

Bautista, Jose...What can you say about this guy...Since Sep 2009 Jose has been an absolute beast...His 16 HR's at the 1/4 pole put him on-pace for a 2nd straight 50+ HR season...Only 2 batters in all of MLB (Matt Joyce and Matt Holliday) have better batting average than J-Bau...Amazing stat (IMO) - Bautista has an On Base Percentage at least 40 points higher than any player in MLB...His eye and discipline at the plate have been spot on all season

C is for Cano, Robinson...Yanks 2B is one of my faves...Off to a good start at .279, 9 HR's, 25 RBI's

Chen, Bruce...Veteran lefty is winning twice as many games as he is losing for the KC Royals the past 2 seasons...Chen is off to a 4-1 start in 2011 with an impressive 3.59 era, which is 1 full run below his career average

Castro, Starling...Cubs 2nd year stud-in-the-making SS is a hitting machine and projects to get 200+ hits with his .338, 1 HR, 18 RBI start to 2011

D is for Dunn, Adam...Big fella has been a HR machine in recent years, but has struggled mightily of late...Returning from a recent Appendectomy Dunn is at just 4 HR's (It practically seemed like he hit 3 HR's in his first 3 AB's) and his batting average is a brutal .216, while he K's twice as many times as he gets a hit (and he K's more than once every game on average)...Not the #'s the White Sox are looking for from their #3 hitter

D is also for our old friend Scotty Downs...A wonderful lefty reliever who took his talents to Anaheim in the off-season and just recently came off the DL (toe then virus) and began his season...So far he is the Scotty D that we knew here in the T-Dot...10 appearances, 9 IP, 0 runs...Plus he has more K's (5) than hits allowed (4)...Guy is good

E is for Encarnacion, Edwin...Jose Bautista finished September of 2009 with a flurry of HR's that launched his success...In Sep 2010 Encarnacion was belting bombs (even in Minny where no one belts bombs) so I was excited to see if he had found his swing and we were in for a breakout 2011 from EE just like J-Bau's 2010 breakout...1/4 way through the season and EE's 0 HR's tells us the story that this guy isn't on the verge of something big, and is in fact not a MLB talent at all...

Ethier, Andre...He of the recent 30 game hitting streak...Off to a .355, 4 HR, 21 RBI start for the 3rd place Dodgers...Only 3 players in all of MLB have higher BA than Ethier

F is for Feliz, Neftali...Rangers closer is 7 for 7 in Save opportunities with a minuscule 0.79 ERA

Fielder, Prince...Big man off to nice start for the Brew Crew .288, 9, 31

Figgins, Chone...One of the all-time worst hitters in post-season history, Figgins has been miserable in the regular season since signing with Seattle...This season the #2 hitter has a .221 BA, with a horrid .267 On Base Percentage...yikes

Freeman, Freddie...Pedestrian start to his rookie season for Hotlanta's 1B ( .229, 4 HR, 12 RBI's) but he does have a swing that could be MLB caliber with seasoning

G is for Gonzalez, Adrian...I predicted video game #'s for A-Gon as a member of the BoSox...For one thing he will be playing home games at Fenway which is a significantly friendlier ballpark for hitters than Petco Park in San Diego...For another thing A-Gon would have legit MLB hitters in front, and behind him in the Boston lineup so he is going to see pitches to hit...So far so good, although the power #'s are just recently getting to where they should be (as I write this A-Gon has homered in 4 straight games)... .325 BA, 9 HR's with 34 RBI's...

Gonzalez, Carlos...The Rockies LF had a monster season, a breakthrough season, in 2010...The 1/4 pole #'s of 2011 do not look good for a repeat performance...Carlos is hitting a poor .237 with just 4 HR's and 20 RBI's...This projects to be about 1/2 as good as last season...The 2nd place Rockies need more from Carlos

H is for Halladay, Roy...Doc is off to another strong start...5-2 with a great 2.05 era and a WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) under 1 at 0.96...He has K'd more batters than he has allowed hits...Amazing stat (IMO) is Hallady has as many, or more, Complete Games than any team in MLB...wow

Hart, Corey...Career highs in 2010 have given way to injury and struggle in 2011...Hart is hitting just .234 with 0 HR's and 1 RBI in his initial 50 AB's of 2011

Hughes, Phil...Disastrous start to 2011 for Hughes...He was projected to be a great #2 behind CC Sabathia in New York, but a dead arm has forced him to the rest and rehab route...In his first start he through 55 fastballs, and none resulted in a swing and miss...When he does return from DL he will try to chip away at his horrific 13.94 era

I is for Ibanez, Raul...2010 saw a dip in production from Ibanez, and 2011 has seen that downward slide continue...A poor start has Raul at .237, 3 HR's, 16 RBI's

Inge, Brandon...Somehow the Tigers have trotted this career .236 hitter out there as an everyday player for years now...The 1/4 pole in 2011 has Inge at .198 with 1 HR and 12 RBI's despite 126 AB's...yikes

J is for Joyce, Matt...AL leader in BA (.360) and projects to 20 HR's and 70 RBI's...Not bad for a 3rd year player looking to show his value as an everyday OF (likely helped that Man-Ram was gone so soon into start of season...helped to give Joyce an opportunity for AB's early and often)

Johnson, Josh...Cy Young candidate at the 1/4 pole...3-1 with a teeny tiny 1.63 era, and an amazing WHIP of 0.90...WAY more IP than hits allowed...WAY more K's than hits allowed...

K is for Kimbrel, Craig...22 year old Braves closer is 9 for 12 in Save opportunities, and has a whopping 30 K's in his 18.2 IP

L is for Latos, Mat...The Padres would-be ace has begun his 3rd MLB campaign in miserable form...0-5 with a 4.86 era...Latos giving up about 1.5 more runs per game than the standard he set last 2 seasons...23 year old was hoping to take next step this season and establish himself as perennial Cy Young candidate, but so far things have been tough for Latos...His K's are still there, but he is yielding way more hits than usual

Lind, Adam...Jays 1B is banged up currently, but at the 1/4 pole he has impressive #'s with a .313 BA, 7 HR's, and 27 RBI's

M is for Marcum, Shaun...ex-Jay is at 4-1 with an impressive 2.72 era, plus an impressive 1.09 WHIP for the Brew Crew

Martinez, Victor...No matter what team V-Mart is the C for, he produces...Detroit is getting a strong start from V-Mart  with a .330 BA, 4 HR's, and 23 RBI's

McCutheon, Andrew...Pirates still waiting for this 24 year old to get his level of play up to where his potential is...Decent power #'s at 1/4 pole with 7 HR's and 7 doubles, but just 19 RBI's and a bad .234 BA have the jury still out on this kids career potential

N is for Napoli, Mike...Napoli was an Angel, then a Jay, then a Ranger in a matter of days this past off-season...His 6 HR's are decent, but his 16 RBI's leaves a lot to be desired, and his .197 BA is downright bad

Nolasco, Ricky...The Marlins pitchers will always take a backseat to Josh Johnson, but Nolasco has had a terrific first 25% of 2011...3-0 with an ERA that is impressive at 3.02, and a WHIP that is impressive at 1.08

Nova, Ivan...Yanks rookie has not produced very well in first 1/4 of season...3-3 with a bad 4.70 ERA...Nova is giving up a ton of hits in his rookie campaign...

O is for Ogando, Alexi...This 2nd year Rangers hurler (starting pitcher this season, 2010 he was relief pitcher) is 4-0 with a great ERA of 2.06 and a great WHIP of 0.89...WAY less hits allowed than IP, and more K's than hits allowed too...Impressive first 25% of 2011 for Ogando

Ordonez, Magglio...Horrid start to the season for the 37 year old Tigers vet...Currently on DL after a .172 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI start to 2011 (yikes)

P is for Pena, Carlos...The former slugger is off to a brutal start for the Cubs...At the 1/4 pole Pena is on pace to hit just 12 HR's this season (yikes), while his BA is at .208 (yikes again)

Pence, Hunter...Astros OF is off to a really nice start to 2011... .296 BA, 5 HR's with 31 RBI's

Perez, Chris...The surprise team of 2011 at the 1/4 pole is likely the 1st place Cleveland Indians...Perez has successfully closed out 10 of the 11 Save opportunities he has had, which projects to 40 saves and a monster season

Q is for Qualls, Chad...Reliever for the Padres is doing a remarkable job so far in 2011...Already a whopping 20 appearances...His WHIP currently is at 1.01 - lowest in his career

R is for Ramirez, Hanley...Marlins SS has perennial MVP candidate kind of game, but 2011 has been a struggle so far...25% of the way in and to see Hanley at just .216, 2 HR, 14 RBI is really surprising/disappointing

Reynolds, Mark...A HR machine in the NL, but only 4 HR's for the Orioles so far in 2011...He was always a K machine too...One of the all-time worst for striking out, but this season he does have that down to 1 K per game (he usually K's 1.5 times per game on average)...His .179 BA is pretty much the definition of yikes

S is for Saltalamacchia, Jarrod...The BoSox are getting things together as a team lately, but the C spot has yet to produce in 2011...At the 1/4 pole Salty has appeared in 26 games and has just 16 hits (.208 BA) and has just 8 RBI's with as many HR's as you or I have (which is to say none, zero, zilch, nada)

Santos, Sergio...27 year old 2nd year reliever is now getting the chance to close games for Ozzie Guilen and the White Sox...So far so good...4 for 4 in Save opportunities, 18 IP with only 10 hits allowed while K'ing 22

Suzuki, Ichiro...By the way, Ichiro is on pace to have his 11th straight season of 200+ hits...Say word Ichiro?!?!  Soooooo damn great...Born to hit

T is for Tulowitzki, Troy...This Rockies SS has been great for a few years now...At the 1/4 pole his BA (.261) is lower than it should be, but the power #'s are sure there with 10 HR's

Tomlin, Josh...A huge part of the Tribe's early success has been Tomlin and his 4-1 record...This starter has an amazing WHIP of just 0.86, with an ERA of just 2.70

Tejada, Miguel...Career over?!?!  Brutal first 25% of 2011 for Tejada...Just 1 HR...Just 10 RBI's...Just .195 BA...yikes, yikes, and more yikes...Considering he has had 133 AB's these #'s are clearly putrid...NOT what San Fran had hoped for when it brought in Tejada this season

U is for the Upton's - Justin and BJ...Justin (Arizona) continues to struggle to play to his potential with any sort of consistency... .247 BA, 7 HR's, 19 RBI's are below his potential...As for older brother B.J. (Tampa Bay), well actually same story...Top draft pick just like Justin, but has always struggled to play to his potential...2011 is off to another poor start for B.J. hitting just .267 with 5 HR's and 24 RBI's...Both Upton's project to 20+ HR's, but neither is hitting to their potential (as usual) and neither is carrying any load of the O like they are capable of

Utley, Chase...2011 still has yet to see Chase Utley...His right knee has not allowed for any MLB action so far this season

V is for Varitek, Jason...We saw earlier the brutal #'s from fellow BoSox C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but Tek's are even worse... .164 BA, 0 HR's (so BoSox got 0 HR's from C's in first 1/4 of 2011 season...yikes) and just 3 RBI's...Those brutal #'s come in nearly 60 AB's...Honestly, if I gave you 60 AB's could you do better than .164, 0, 3?!?!  I bet you could...

Victorino, Shane...The Flyin' Hawaiian is off to a very good start in 2011... .285 BA, 6 HR, 19 RBI for the 1st place Phillies

Vizquel, Omar...The 44 year old White Sox vet is hitting .324 with 5 RBI's (including 2 RBI in a recent 4-3 W)...The 22 year veteran is still finding ways to contribute to a MLB team...Impressive

W is for Weaver, Jered...Angels ace has lost 3 straight starts, but he still sports a nice 6-3 record, with a nice 2.26 ERA, and a nice 0.94 WHIP

Wells, Vernon...V-Dub is currently down with a groin issue, but his start to the Anaheim portion of his career has been a nightmare...How about a .183 BA with just 4 HR's and a measly 13 RBI's...yikes...Wells' 2011 contract pays him $26+ million, 2nd only to A-Rod...wow

Weeks, Ritchie...Brewers 2B found his power stroke in 2010, and that has continued for the first 25% of 2011 as he has gone deep 7 times, has 9 Doubles, plus his BA is an impressive .292 (that is about 40 points higher than career average)

X is for X-factors...Guys who you do not know what you will get...Feast or famine kind of guys like...

Carlos Zambrano 4-1, 4.35 ERA (Cubs)...

A.J. Burnett 4-2, 3.38 ERA (Yanks)...

Jack Cust gets time as the #4 hitter for Seattle, yet check his 1/4 pole #'s - .222 BA, 0 HR's with 11 RBI's...yikes

Hideki Matsui not doing much in his initail season with the A's... 236 BA, 3 HR's, 15 RBI's...

White Sox OF Alex Rios is hitting a brutal .200 with just 3 HR's, and a measly 10 RBI's

Red Sox DH David Ortiz usually has a terrible first 25% of any season, but so far so good in 2011... .284 BA with 6 HR's and 18 RBI's

Albert Pujols...Phat Albert is likely the games #1 hitter (perhaps these days it might be Jose Bautista with Pujols a close 2nd) but early on in 2011 Pujols is putting up very average #'s(for his standards)... .266, 7 HR's, 24 RBI's

Y is for Youkilis, Kevin...Like most BoSox the #'s haven't been so great for Youk in the first 25% of 2011...6 HR's and 22 RBI's are decent, but his .240 BA is well below his standard

Young, Chris...Arizona's CF is much like Arizona's RF (Justin Upton) as far as both guys have a ton of talent, and both have struggled to play to their potential with any sort of consistency...In the first 25% of 2011 Young's power stroke is good (8 HR's, 10 Doubles, 2 Triples) but his BA is terrible at .223...

Z is for Zobrist, Ben...Rays 2B had a monster 2009, but came back to earth in 2010...Thankfully for TB fans the first 25% of 2011 resembles the monster 2009... .294 BA, 8 HR's with 27 RBI's

Zaun, Gregg...Although I certainly disagree with a lot of what Zaunie has to say in his new role as MLB Analyst I have seen people like Peter King give great praise to Zaun on Twitter for his abilities as an analyst...I know King is more of an NFL guy, but I respect the hell out of his sports knowledge and to see him him giving props to Gregg was a major plus for Zaun in my books

craig.ballard@hotmail.com ... follow me on twitter @craigballard77