As we head towards the start of the 2012 season it would appear that the Cardinals have more than enough starting pitching, despite the impending departure of Edwin Jackson via free agency. We would all anticipate the defending World Series champions to leave Spring Training with the following five-man staff:
- Adam Wainwright
- Chris Carpenter
- Kyle Lohse
- Jamie Garcia
- Jake Westbrook
However, that may not exactly be the case. The Cardinals have one of the top minor league pitchers at their disposal in Shelby Miller, who split time between Single & Double-A in 2011. Over 139.2 IP he posted a 2.77 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 10.99 K/9. Those numbers came courtesy of a .327 BABIP, so there is actually a chance that the 21-year old righty could get even better.
Before you ask if it was a lucky strand rate, his marks were 70.5% at Single-A and 76.3% at Double-A. So far these are numbers that have to excite us, though that’s not to say that he doesn’t carry his own risk. Read more
Heading into 2011 Joe Mauer was widely viewed as one of the elite catchers in the league. However, an injury plagued campaign coupled with being another year removed from his power eruption (28 HR in ’09) puts his status among the top of the field in question. Do the following numbers really scream must own:
296 At Bats
.287 Batting Average (85 Hits)
3 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.360 On Base Percentage
.368 Slugging Percentage
.319 Batting Average on Balls in Play
He has long proven to be better than that, with a career .323 average and four seasons of 86 runs scored or more. Those are two categories that you rarely get contributions from your catcher, so having him gave you an advantage over the rest of the field, thus inflating his value. Read more
Yesterday’s trade that sent RP Andrew Bailey and OF Ryan Sweeney to Boston in exchange for OF Josh Reddick, 3B Miles Head and P Raul Alcantara has far more of a fantasy impact than just the players involved in the deal. Let’s take a look at how each team is affected and ultimately who the winners and losers are:
From the A’s perspective the deal more or less is what it is on the surface. They clearly have moved into a rebuilding mode, having now sent Bailey, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez packing this offseason. The prize of this deal for them is clearly Reddick, who had been penciled in as a starter for the Red Sox.
In 254 AB in ’11 he hit .280 with 7 HR, 28 RBI and 41 R. The numbers came courtesy of a believable .318 BABIP and 18.0% strikeout rate. The 24-year old (he will turn 25 prior to the start of the 2012 season) has shown considerably more power in the minor leagues, particularly at Triple-A. In 713 AB at Triple-A he has hit 32 HR, spiking in ’11 (14 HR in 191 AB). While the move to Oakland hurts in regards to his home ballpark, it will help in regards to his opportunity. The A’s lineup is completely wide open so there is a good chance that Reddick settles into the middle of the order. Do we really think Kurt Suzuki or Brandon Allen is going to knock him from the spot? Read more
Today’s first round analysis is not a question as to if these players belong in the first round or not. We all know they do. The question is who should be taken first overall. If Ryan Braun were not facing a 50 game suspension he would likely be involved in the discussion as well, but with that looming large he is easily bypassed at this point.
To me the first spot comes down to three players in Albert Pujols, Matt Kemp and Jose Bautista. You can argue that Miguel Cabrera deserves to be mentioned as well, but since he is lower on my draft board than Pujols it eliminates him from the discussion. If I am going to take a first baseman in the top spot, it is going to be Pujols without question.
So, with it being a three man race, let’s take a look at each player and try to determine who belongs in the top overall spot this season:
Albert Pujols – First Baseman – Los Angeles Angels
The case for him – We all know that he has been the premier hitter in the game since his Major League debut in 2001. Despite missing time in 2011 Pujols just fractionally missed an eleventh straight season of .300/30/100 as he hit .299 with 37 HR and 99 RBI. His prior low in the average department was .312. He only once has fallen short of 100 runs scored (99 in ’07). Since 2002 he has hit fewer than 37 HR once (32 in ’07) and has hit at least 40 HR six times. In other words there is no other player in the league that offers his elite bat and consistency. Read more
Things are starting to heat up here at Rotoprofessor with the NFL season coming to a close, the NBA season starting up and the baseball season just around the corner. There are a few notes that I want to share with everyone as there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon:
- On the baseball side we will be running several contests/giveaways this season. Among the prizes that are going to be handed out are autographed baseball from Jesus Montero, Michael Pineda, Rollie Fingers & Ferguson Jenkins! Make sure to keep checking back for all the details and to enter for your chance to win.
- The baseball draft guide is getting close to completion and the first release will come in early January. I still do not have an exact date, but it will be no later than January 15. Don’t miss your chance to get all the information you’ll need to win your fantasy baseball league in 2012. If you haven’t already pre-ordered your guide make sure to do so by clicking here.
- We will be starting our final 2012 rankings in early January on the site. These will be Top 15 rankings for each position so, if you want more, make sure to order the guide.
- I am currently looking for writers on all fronts, whether it is baseball, football or basketball. There are numerous opportunities, so if you have an interest in writing please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put the header of the e-mail as “Rotoprofessor Writer Search”. Right now these will be unpaid positions, but that could change in the future. I wouldn’t be looking for much, just an article or two per week.
It is an exciting time here at Rotoprofessor and I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am. You are all what makes this site what it is and I truly appreciate your support.
Jarrod Parker is a pitcher that needed talking about prior to his trade to Oakland. Now that he will be calling a friendlier ballpark home, things get even more intriguing. Selected ninth overall in 2007, Parker was viewed among the top pitching prospects in the game. He made his Major League debut in 2011, something that may have come at least a year earlier had he not missed all of the 2010 campaign due to Tommy John surgery.
He impressed in his one start for the Diamondbacks by allowing four hits and one walk, striking out one, over 5.2 shutout innings. Obviously no one is about to draw conclusions off of one performance, but it was the culmination in what was an impressive return to the mound.
Parker spent the bulk of the ’11 campaign at Double-A where he posted a 3.79 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 130.2 IP. The numbers were based on a realistic .288 BABIP. So far everything seems normal, but there are reasons to think that he can significantly improve on that performance. These three numbers are the important ones:
- 69.6% strand rate
- 7.71 K/9
- 3.79 BB/9 Read more