Results tagged ‘ March ’

Baseball Returns With Spring Training Action

Although Spring Training baseball isn’t as meaningful as the regular season, and despite the fact that most of the stars on the team are removed by the fifth inning, this time of year is exciting, nonetheless, for baseball fans all around the country.

The first regular season games of the year aren’t set to take place for another few weeks, with the opening-series being played in Australia on March 22nd, but even so, today marked the first official professional baseball games of the year.Untitled

And therefore, things are finally starting to get going again.

The Phillies, Blue Jays, Pirates, Yankees, Tigers, Braves, Dodgers, D-backs, Athletics, Giants, Reds and Indians all saw action on Wednesday, with the remaining teams playing their first games of the year against another big league organization over the course of the next two days. While things are still fairly early, several players are already looking promising.

One of the biggest question marks for the 2014 season, after a couple of injured years, is Ryan Howard. Once one of the games biggest power threats, Howard hasn’t been himself as of late. But out of the gate so far this spring, including practice games, Howard looks healthy and like he’s seeing the ball really well.

Jose Bautista is another player who has had injuries hurt his stats each of the past two seasons but is looking good to bounce back this year. In his first at-bat of Wednesday’s game, Bautista crushed a ball completely out of the ballpark off the Phillies’ Roberto Hernandez. If the Blue Jays have Bautista going, he could help lead them higher up in the rankings than they finished last year.

As far as teams go, the Athletics look as though they could pick up where they left off in 2013, once their season begins on March 31st. They did extremely well against the Giants in their first matchup of the year, and with the additions they made in the offseason, they should really make some noise in the talented American League West.

It’s far too early to say for sure whether or not these trends will continue, with there still a being ton of baseball left to be played before things begin to count towards the standings. But, as stated earlier, things are looking promising for an exciting 2014 season.

Arizona Fall League TTM Autograph Requests

The 2013 MLB postseason is well underway, and it sure has been exciting so far. A lot of unexpected things are sure to happen in the coming weeks, but for now I’m not going to discuss any of it. For this blog post I’m focusing solely on the Arizona Fall League. More specifically, through the mail (TTM) autograph requests that I’m sending out to various participating players.

Taking place every October/November – this year it’s October 8th through November 16th — the Arizona Fall League (AFL) gives top Minor League players who didn’t get a full season of playing time, for one reason or another, a chance to show their organization what they can do, as well as provide them with a little more baseball experience.mlb_a_bux_cr_400

I usually only send off autograph requests in March, for Spring Training, and October, for the Arizona Fall League. Some people send requests to players throughout the season, however, I’ve never really wanted to do that — they’re too busy going around from ballpark to ballpark. In Spring Training and the Arizona Fall League players stay in the same relative area for over a month; giving, in my mind, a better chance of success.

There is a ton of great talent in this year’s Fall League, but I’m not sending to all of them. If a player has a chance of coming to play the Bulls or Mudcats – my local MiLB teams — I don’t want to send to them. A good example of that being Byron Buxton. He’s participating in the AFL and was the 2013 MiLB Player of the Year, however, in addition to the unlikelihood that he would sign TTM, he could come to Durham with Rochester in the next year or two. So there’s really no point in wasting a card.

Last year I sent out fifteen auto requests and received back nine of them. That’s a fairly decent return as far as TTM’s go. This time around, I’m sending out seventeen, to players such as Addison Russell, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Cron, Delino DeShields and Colin Moran — all of which are on the top 100 prospects list – among multiple others.

The plan is to post an update every time I receive back a few autographs, as I did this year during Spring Training; assuming I get any autographs back at all. So look out for that over the course of the next few months.

Latest MLB Leaders (March 31st-May 31st)

With the first two months of the 2013 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting, as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it, and who you’re rooting for.

Instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that lead that particular category. I did the same thing last year, and it was so well-received that I wanted to do it again this season. I’m planning on posting an entry like this on the first day of each month. (That would make 4 more of these if you’re keeping score at home.)

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but NOT AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL)- HITTING

Most Games Played-Dustin Pedroia (56)

Most At-Bats-Manny Machado (239)

Most Hits-Miguel Cabrera (81)

Highest Average-Miguel Cabrera (.372)

Highest OBP-Joey Votto (.465)

Highest SLG-Chris Davis (.749)

Most Runs-Joey Votto (45)

Most Doubles-Manny Machado (25)

Most Triples-Mike Trout (6)

Most Home Runs-Chris Davis (19)

Most RBI’s-Miguel Cabrera (61)

Most Base On Balls-Joey Votto (46)

Most Strikeouts-Mike Napoli (78)

Most Stolen Bases-Jacoby Ellsbury (21)

Most Caught Stealing-Gerardo Parra (7)

Most Intentional Base On Balls-Joey Votto (9)

Most Hit By Pitch-Shin-Soo Choo (15)

Most Sacrifice Flies-Brandon Phillips (6)

Most Total Bases-Miguel Cabrera (146)

Most Extra Base Hits-Chris Davis (37)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays-Matt Holliday and Michael Young. (12)

Most Ground Outs-Norichika Aoki (91)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced-Shin-Soo Choo (1,086)

Most Plate Appearances-Joey Votto (256)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL)- PITCHING

Most Wins-Four players tied for most. (8)

Most Losses-Cole Hamels (9)

Best ERA-Patrick Corbin (1.71)

Most Games Started-Thirteen players tied for most. (12)

Most Games Pitched-Scott Rice (31)

Most Saves-Jason Grilli (22)

Most Innings Pitched-Clayton Kershaw (87.1)

Most Hits Allowed-Joe Blanton (100)

Most Runs Allowed-Wily Peralta (48)

Most Earned Runs Allowed-R.A. Dickey and Jeremy Hellickson. (43)

Most Home Runs Allowed-Jeremy Guthrie (15)

Most Strikeouts-Yu Darvish (105)

Most Walks-Lucas Harrell (37)

Most Complete Games-Jordan Zimmermann (3)

Most Shutouts-Bartolo Colon, Justin Masterson and Adam Wainwright. (2)

Best Opponent Avg.-Matt Harvey (.172)

Most Games Finished-Jason Grilli (25)

Most Double Plays Achieved-Lucas Harrell (14)

Most Wild Pitches-Brandon Maurer (8)

Most Balks-Alfredo Aceves, Shawn Camp and Juan Nicasio. (2)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed-Edinson Volquez (14)

Most Pickoffs-Clayton Kershaw and Julio Teheran. (3)

Most Batters Faced-C.C. Sabathia (338)

Most Pitches Thrown-Jon Lester (1,315)

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