Young shortstops are getting a lot of focus these days, but the names generally mentioned are Alcides Escobar and Elvis Andrus. There’s a third speedster who belongs to be included in that group, the Padres’ Everth Cabrera.
Before we get into too much detail, let’s take a look at his line from last season:
377 At Bats
.255 Batting Average (96 Hits)
2 Home Runs
25 Stolen Bases
.342 On Base Percentage
.361 Slugging Percentage
.328 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Prior to 2009, Cabrera never played above Single-A. Having been selected as the third overall pick in the 2008 Rule V Draft (out of the Colorado Rockies system), the Padres had no choice but to keep him on the Major League roster (though nine stolen bases during Spring Training helped make their decision) or offer him back. Read more
We have all seen pitchers suffer from whiplash, consistently turning to watch ball after ball sore over the fence. The question is, is that a problem that is going to plague them once again or is there hope of overcoming it and righting the ship in 2010? Let’s take a look at the pitchers with the 10 worst home run/flyball rates in 2009 to see:
1) Braden Looper – 15.8%
The player with the worst HR/FB in the league last season, does anyone really care? While it is a fairly sizable jump (he had an 11.7% mark in 2008), he’s a fantasy non-factor as a starting pitcher no matter what.
2) Rick Porcello – 14.1%
There were some definite growing pains for the 20-year old rookie, having allowed 23 HR last season. It was pretty steady across the board as well, like 11 HR allowed at home vs. 12 on the road and 13 allowed prior to the All-Star Break vs. 10 afterwards. As a pitcher who posted a Top Five groundball rate, however, I would definitely expect this to improve with more experience. Now, his strikeout rate is another issue, but that’s a story for another day. He threw 77.1% (second to only Mike Pelfrey) of his pitches as fastballs, which likely played a role. Like I said, more experience should yield better results. Read more
by Jimmy Hascup
What does a player do after he finishes his first full season in the major leagues with the fifth highest batting average, finish sixth in the NL in slugging, and seventh in the NL in OPS? Oh yeah and you constitute your team’s offense and only fantasy-worthy hitter in the lineup. If you’re Pablo Sandoval you climb up Phoenix’s Camelback Mountain. It’s all part of a rigorous workout effort, a 3 ½ week one at that, for Sandoval to shed some pounds and become more durable on the baseball field. Though if you ask me, the 250-plus pound Sandoval did nothing this season to make fantasy owners wish that he was eating less Burger King and more Jenny Craig:
572 At Bats
.330 Batting Average (189 Hits)
25 Home Runs
5 Stolen Bases
.387 On Base Percentage
.556 Slugging Percentage
.353 Batting Average on Balls in Play
After taking a look at those numbers remember one important element, Sandoval played for the fifth worst offense in baseball. Without him Giants’ lineup would’ve probably had trouble holding its own in Triple-A. That’s how bad it is. And it makes those season numbers that more astonishing. Read more
There are some prospects who possesses a bat so good that an organization will try them anywhere across the diamond in order to find a spot. The St. Louis Cardinals have such a prospect in Allen Craig, who has played all over the infield as well as being tested in the outfield.
He’s seen minimal time at SS and 2B and there is no chance that a hole opens up at 1B courtesy of Albert Pujols. He has spent the majority of his time at 3B, though his long-term potential there is minimal despite the team’s potential need. As Baseball America recently said:
“His lack of range and arm strength, plus a quirky throwing motion, work against him at the hot corner.”
Hence the decision to transition him to the outfield, where, depending on the offseason moves of the team, could see an opening. Remember, the team had four potential outfielders in 2009, but two of them, Matt Holliday and Rick Ankiel, are free agents with no guarantee that either will return.
If he continues to hit the way he has, they will be forced to give him an opportunity, one way or another. Read more
Yesterday Topps released its All-Star Rookie team for 2009 and while there were some justified selections and some questionable ones, the player that has the most intrigue for me is the Mets’ Omir Santos. He beat out phenom Matt Wieters, who most thought would be in contention to take home the Rookie of the Year award in the American League.
Did Santos’ season really justify the award? First let’s take a look at his statistics:
281 At Bats
.260 Batting Average (73 Hits)
7 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.296 On Base Percentage
.391 Slugging Percentage
.287 Batting Average on Balls in Play
I know Wieters did not come close to expectations, but Santos’ performance is far from tantalizing. While he had his moments early in the season delivering some big hits for a Mets team that was desperate to grasp onto anything, Santos’ second half left little to be desired. Read more
I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoys their turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and whatever your favorites are.
I also wanted to thank everyone for supporting the site. You are what makes this site what it is and that I truly appreciate.