BookWorm Baseball

A PLACE FOR FANS OF BASEBALL AND SABERMETRICS TO DISCUSS WHATEVER IS ON THEIR MINDS

Thursday, June 15, 2006

You Know There's A Problem When...

I've been very interested in the all-star voting results that MLB has been releasing this month...or maybe I should say I've been DISTURBED by them.

On Monday, All Star Ballot Update #3 was released.

YOU KNOW THERE'S A PROBLEM WHEN 7 OF THE 8 STARTERS ARE EITHER FROM THE YANKEES OR RED SOX.

That's right. If these results were final, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano would all be starting at the All-Star Game. So too would Jason Varitek, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. That leaves Vlad Guerrero from the Angels supplying a 'lil West Coast flava as the third outfielder. ;p

There are a couple of problems with all this.

One is that most of the players above don't deserve to start in the game. I would argue that a few don't deserve to make the team even as a reserve.

Secondly, there are 14 teams in the AL. Having your starting lineup represented by players from only 3 or 4 teams is no good.

I realize that certain teams fans are more enthusiastic about voting (Yanks, Red Sox, Cardinals etc..) than others but it's getting to the point where really great players are being snubbed. Allowing people to vote up to 25 times online makes it easy for people to manipulate the results.

With that being said, there's still more than 2 weeks until the Starters and Reserved are announced (July 2). There's plenty of time for the votes to even out. There's plenty of time for popular, slumping players to put up numbers that actually mirror those of a deserving All-Star starter.

Below is a list of AL players I think deserve to be starters, as of June 13.

AL:

Actual Voting Results:

1. David Ortiz, Red Sox - 915,362
2. Jason Giambi, Yankees - 626,289
3. Paul Konerko, White Sox - 429,572
4. Travis Hafner, Indians - 364,246
5. Chris Shelton, Tigers - 274,730

I could be cheap here and put down Travis Hafner of the Indians as a starter since he's on the ballot at 1B, but because he's barely played any 1B in the past 3 seasons (and no appearances in '06 so far), I won't.

Starter: Paul Konerko, White Sox: .304, 17 HR, 49 RBI, 41 Runs, .381 OBP, .948 OPS.

Honourable Mention:

Travis Hafner, Cleveland: .306, 18 HR, 55 RBI, 55 Runs, .452 OBP, 1.077 OPS
Jim Thome, White Sox: .281, 21 HR, 55 RBI, 52 Runs, .418 OBP, 1.035 OPS

Two DHs at honourable mention. I just hope Hafner makes it as a reserve.

2B:

1. Robinson Cano, Yankees - 602,637
2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox - 535,043
3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox - 499,643
4. Placido Polanco, Tigers - 268,728
5. Jose Lopez, Mariners - 265,692

No one player really jumped out at me but I'd give the nod to a 22 year old.

Starter: Jose Lopez, Mariners: .280, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 40 Runs, .321 OBP, .802 OPS, .985 FPCT

Honourable Mention:

Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox: .286, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 44 Runs, .336 OBP, .751 OPS, 4 SB
Brian Roberts, Orioles: (in 45 GMS) .311, 0 HR, 21 RBI, 28 Runs, .385 OBP, .787 OPS, 15 SB

3B:

1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees - 1,067,369
2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox - 468,031
3. Joe Crede, White Sox - 341,224
4. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays - 338,899
5. Eric Chavez, Athletics - 311,301

I am giving A-Rod the nod because I already know he will be starting and also because of what he has done in his career. He hasn't turned it on offensively but is still near the top at position. However, I almost went with Troy Glaus since Rodriguez has had a brutal time in the field. He's already made 11 errors after committing a total of 12 all of last season!

Starter: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: .277, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 51 Runs, .387 OBP, .876 OPS, 6 SB

Honourable Mention:

Troy Glaus, Blue Jays: .257, 19 HR, 50 RBI, 50 Runs, .360 OBP, .926 OPS
Hank Blalock, Rangers: .301, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 41 Runs, .379 OBP, .853 OPS (only 28K in 248 AB)

Could the Jays have 5 All-Stars this year!?
(Glaus, Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay, Alex Rios, BJ Ryan?)

SS:

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees - 1,121,712
2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles - 776,442
3. Michael Young, Rangers - 293,249
4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox - 249,094
5. Juan Uribe, White Sox - 232,635

As you can see, Michael Young is not getting the respect he deserves. He shouldn't be almost 500,000 votes behing Miggy! Alex Gonzalez shouldn't even be in the top 10. Anyway...

Starter: Miguel Tejada, Orioles: .336, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 53 Runs, .394 OBP, .954 OPS

Honourable Mention:

Derek Jeter, Yankees: .336, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 45 Runs, .428 OBP, .906 OPS, 12 SB
Orlando Cabrera, Angels: .309, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 50 Runs, .368 OBP, .814 OPS, 9 SB
Michael Young, Rangers: .315, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 36 Runs, .361 OBP, .802 OPS

I assume Tejada and Jeter will be locks to make the roster. Perhaps one more SS will too?

C:

1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox - 630,657
2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers - 595,132
3. Jorge Posada, Yankees - 489,480
4. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox - 370,020
5. Victor Martinez, Indians - 324,575

This is the one that gets to me! WHERE IS JOE MAUER!!?? The 23 YEAR OLD can't crack the top 5? He's leading catchers in hitting, OBP, Stolen Bases, second in runs scored.
Where's Ramon Hernandez?

Starter: Joe Mauer, Twins: .376, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 35 Runs, .442 OBP, .965 OPS

Honourable Mention:

Ramon Hernandez, Orioles: .295, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 27 Runs, .351 OBP, .853 OPS
Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers: .306, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 32 Runs, .336 OBP, .774 OPS, ZERO ERRORS
Victor Martinez, Cleveland: .295, 10 43 RBI, 36 Runs, .360 OBP, .853 OPS
Jorge Posada, Yankees: .294, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 23 Runs, .419 OBP, .901 OBS

Quite a nice group of catchers this year actually. Hopefully Pudge starts if Mauer doesn't.

OF:

1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels - 1,115,476
2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox - 1,080,426
3. Johnny Damon, Yankees - 754,396
4. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners - 677,392
5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays - 554,409
6. Gary Sheffield, Yankees - 466,520
7. Jermaine Dye, White Sox - 407,162
8. Scott Podsednik, White Sox - 384,119
9. Hideki Matsui, Yankees - 362,289
10. Coco Crisp, Red Sox - 354,181
11. Torii Hunter, Twins - 349,262
12. Trot Nixon, Red Sox - 323,813
13. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers - 315,390
14. Grady Sizemore, Indians - 288,314
15. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays - 225,432

So hard to pick just 3.

Starters:

Vernon Wells, Blue Jays. .328, 17 HR, 54 RBI, 39 Runs, .384 OBP, 1.008 OPS, 6 SB
Ichiro, Mariners: .367, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 52 Runs, .416 OBP, .878 OPS, 20 SB
Grady Sizemore, Cleveland: .301, 12 HR, 34 RBI, 54 Runs, .378 OBP, .916 OPS, 9 SB

I get to see Wells and Ichiro play a lot and can say they are so valuable to their teams both offensively and defensively. Same goes for Sizemore who should be far higher than 14th amongst AL O-F voting.

Honourable Mention:

Vlad Guerrero, Angels: .313, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 34 Runs, .353 OBP, .879 OPS, 5 SB
Alex Rios, Blue Jays: .341, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 45 Runs, .392 OBP, 1.026 OPS, 8 SB
Nick Swisher, Athletics: .294, 17 HR, 44 RBI, 50 Runs, .391 OBP, .967 OPS
Manny Ramirez, Red Sox: .293, 16 HR, 41 RBI, 36 Runs, .432 OBP, .998 OPS
Johnny Damon, Yankees: .293, 9 HR, 31 RBI, 49 Runs, .367 OBP, .832 OPS, 13 SB
Magglio Ordonez, Tigers: .298, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 36 Runs, .351 OBP, .859 OPS

Guys like Vlad and Manny aren't even playing at their usual levels and should still make the squad with no problem. Swisher and Rios are emerging as young stars while Damon has likely been everything Yankees fans expected, and Ordonez has bounced back from some major injuries the past couple of seasons and is a big reason the Tigers are 1st in the AL Central right now.

To recap, here are the current AL Starters as based on MLB voting:

C - Jason Varitek, Red Sox
1B - David Ortiz, Red Sox
2B - Robinson Cano, Yankees
3B - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
SS - Derek Jeter, Yankees
OF - Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
OF - Johnny Damon, Yankees
OF - Vladimir Guerrero, Angels

...and here are MY PICKS...

C - Joe Mauer, Twins
1B - Paul Konerko, White Sox
2B - Jose Lopez, Mariners
3B - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
SS - Miguel Tejada, Orioles
OF - Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
OF - Grady Sizemore, Indians
OF - Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners

I wonder how much my picks will have changed come July?

Please leave a comment and give me your picks along with any comments or criticisms!

I will UPDATE my picks (including NL) closer to the release of the All-Star starters and reserves.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Whipping Boys

Certain players often get a hard time from fantasy baseball enthusiasts...even when they have no fantasy value to begin with.




It's Neifi!



I'm thinking of guys such as....

Willie Bloomquist, MARINERS:
Career .264 hitter, .313 OBP, 3 HR in 754 AB, .314 SLG

He can run (40 for 48 in career SB attempts, good, smart baserunner too) and can play numerous positions...I suppose the main criticism relating to how he's been used is that HE GETS TOO MANY AT BATS! Maybe 150 or less would be best? Better than the 190-250 he's been getting each year. It wouldn't stop him from getting into 80 or 90 games if he was used properly by the manager. Pinch runner, defensive replacement, at bats in blowouts etc. He could be the hitting equivalent of the mop-up pitcher. Personally, I think he would be a solid 25th man on the roster.

Juan Castro, TWINS:
Career .231 hitter in 2009 AB, .270 OBP (!!!), 31 HR, .337 SLG, 5 SB in 12 Attempts

...in other words, he brings next to nothing offensively, can't steal bases...but HEY at least he is a very good, versatile defensive player who can play 2B, 3B, SS and a bit of 1B.

The first two are part-time players
..................................................but NOT.......NEIFI PEREZ....THE WHIPPING BOY!

Owner of one of the most unpleasant swings I've ever seen (sort of a two handed uppercut flailing motion which often results in weak popups to shallow outfield), Neifi is dumped on by baseball bloggers all over North America.

Career: .269 BA, .299 OBP, .377 SLG, 61 HR in 4866 AB, 56 SB in 100 attempts

To be fair, Neifi is a SOLID defensive shortstop who can also handle second base and a bit of third. BUT WHY HAS HE BEEN USED AS A #2 HITTER SO OFTEN IN HIS CAREER?

If he has to be a starter or someone who starts 80% of all games...SO BE IT. But why not just stick him in the 8 hole permanently? That's where he belongs. It shouldn't affect his defense!

DON'T MANAGERS RESEARCH AND STUDY STATS? On Base Percentage is more telling than Batting Average. Some players can bat .269 (as Perez has averaged) and still get on base 35% of the time...With Neifi, you should know what you're getting. It boggles the mind that a guy who gets on 30% of the time would be used in the top third of the order. Having Neifi and Corey Patterson (.296 OBP) in the 1 and 2 spots much of 2005 is the main reason Derek "ONLY" had 107 RBI last season. What a shame. You wonder how some managers are even involved in the game of baseball.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

No Respect for JASON BAY!


JUNE 7 UPDATE BELOW!

MLB released the first balloting results for the 2006 All-Star game yesterday. Incidentally, the game will take place in Pittsburgh on July 11. Yet one quick look at the voting results for NL Outfielders and Jason Bay is nowhere to be found. He hasn't even cracked the top 15!!! Somehow the Cardinals So Taguchi (.283, 1 HR, 17 RBI) and Juan Encarnacion (.249, 7 HR, 24 RBI) have managed to rack up more votes. Well done Cards fans. Juan Pierre (another guy playing poorly) rounds out the top 15 with 134,527 votes.

So let me get this straight. Jason Bay, who admittedly was having a subpar season until he EXPLODED FOR 10 homers in 10 games, can't get enough votes even though his own team's city will be hosting the All-Star festivities. That's brutal. Shucks, he's only been one of the best outfielders in the game since the beginning of 2005.

I realize Pittsburgh is a smallish market that doesn't get much national attention. The team is already out of the playoff race thanks to a 18-34 record, but come on. If you play fantasy baseball, you will likely know how valuable a player like Bay is. He is even more valuable to his own team. He is the classic 'Good Player on a Bad Team'.

Example: In a recent three game series against the Diamondbacks, Bay hit 4 homeruns while going 6 for 12 with 6 RBI. The Pirates were still swept.

I know it's early in the voting, so I just hope Bay gets the respect he deserves. I'm assuming he will make the All-Star game as a reserve anyway (as he did last year, although he never got into the game) since each team requires a representative.

For those of you who aren't too familiar with J-Bay, here are his stats through May 30 (52 games).

.303, 16 HR, 45 RBI, 38 Runs, 5 SB, .425 OBP, 1.021 OPS

2005 (162 games, 599 AB) .306, 32 HR, 101 RBI, 110 Runs, 21 SB in 22 attempts, .402 OBP, .961 OPS

The 2004 rookie of the year.

The pride of Trail, British Columbia, CANADA.


ALL-STAR GAME VOTING UPDATE - JUNE 7:

Well, it seems some people have taken notice of Jason Bay's solid play, most likely because of the attention he had received lately due to his ridiculous homerun streak and great play (also the NL Player Of The Month for May).

Bay finds himself in the 9th spot (255,226 votes) amongst NL outfielders in voting. Although still too low in my opinion, he is rising after not even making the top 15 a week ago. Somehow Andruw Jones (certainly a very good overall player) is more than 300,000 votes ahead. I suppose name recognition and playing for a good team in a larger market has a big impact on how fans vote.

J-Bay has continued his strong play since I first posted on May 31.

Season Totals (60 Games): .311, 18 HR, 49 RBI, 43 Runs, 46 BB, 5 SB