Results tagged ‘ MLB ’
As I stated in my American League Rookie of the Year post, watching young players succeed upon their first year in the majors is always fun. Though it never guarantees that any given player will carry that early success throughout their career, it’s always a good indication of which players are going to be stars for years to come. We certainly had a fair share of those type of players in the National League this season, with players such as Justin Bour, Joc Pederson, Matt Duffy, Jung Ho Kang, Kris Bryant and Noah Syndergaard all having seasons worthy of recognition. However, in the end, only one player can win the coveted Rookie of the Year award.
Joc Pederson began the season on a tear right out of the gate, but he saw a tremendous downfall in his stats as the season went on, especially in the second half. His 25 home runs are impressive, but his .210 average (the lowest of all National League rookies) is definitely not. Therefore, he won’t be getting the award.
Another player who had a noteworthy season but not an award worthy season is Matt Duffy. All season long, Duffy was an impactful player for the Giants, notching 76 RBI’s all while hitting a cool .296, but he doesn’t even finish in the top three or four in my mind.
Likewise, Jung Ho Kang (15 homers and a .287 average) and Noah Syndergaard (3.24 ERA with 166 strikeouts) each had a big impact on their respective teams, but neither of them will take home the top rookie honor for the NL. Even so, both helped their teams make the playoffs, and both should be big impact players moving forward.
Justin Bour would likely receive more consideration if he had recorded a higher batting average, as his 23 home runs and 76 RBI’s are impressive. Bour also held the unique ability of coming up big for the Marlins throughout the season, but there was one player in the National League who simply didn’t give any other player a shot.
There is absolutely only one choice for the National League Rookie of the Year award for 2015, and that’s Kris Bryant. Although he struck out nearly 200 times, Bryant came through for the Cubs more often than not this year. He was in fact a big reason they made it to the postseason, recording 26 homers and 99 RBI’s for 2015. As he begins to gain more experience, expect his numbers only to grow more an more. It’s truly amazing the talent level that Bryant possesses.
Watching young players succeed upon their first year in the majors is always fun. Though it never guarantees that any given player will carry that early success throughout their career, it’s always a good indication of which players are going to be stars for years to come. We certainly had a fair share of those type of players in the American League this season, with players such as Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Miguel Sano, Lance McCullers Jr., and Carson Smith all having seasons worthy of recognition. However, in the end, only one player can win the coveted Rookie of the Year award.
Carson Smith had a terrific rookie season as a reliever with the Mariners. Posting a 2.31 ERA over the course of 70 innings pitched, all while striking out 92, Smith will likely have many more years to come as a top notch relief pitcher. But although his year was great, it’s no where near good enough for the Rookie of the Year.
Lance McCullers Jr., like Smith, is a pitcher who had a good season, making 22 starts for the Astros and striking out more batters than innings pitched. However, also like Carson Smith, McCullers won’t be taking home any hardware in 2015.
Miguel Sano is a solid candidate for the top rookie honor, but he didn’t quite do enough to receive it in my mind. His 18 homers and 52 RBI’s over just 79 games with the Twins is very impressive, but the numbers just aren’t there for him. Even so, Sano is going to be a force to be reckoned with for the next decade or so.
It came down to Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor for me, but Lindor just misses out. He really exploded onto the scene with the Indians back in June and is cementing himself as a future Gold Glove winner. Lindor’s .356 on base percentage and 12 homers as a shortstop are impressive, but not as impressive as another fellow rookie shortstop.
For me, while it was close between Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, there’s no other choice for 2015 American League Rookie of the Year over Correa. Hyped ever since he was selected as the number one overall draft pick in 2012, Correa burst into the Astros lineup and never looked back. Blasting 22 home runs (an Astros rookie record) and knocking in 68 runs, Correa is sure to be a future All-Star shortstop for Houston.
We’re just a few days into the 2015 MLB postseason, but it’s certainly been exciting so far. A lot of unexpected and equally exciting things are sure to take place over the course of the coming weeks, and it will be something worth watching to see which teams perform as predicted and which teams fail to live up to their full potentials.
However, regardless of that, I’m not going to discuss anything related to the playoffs in this blog post. Instead, I’m going to focus on the Arizona Fall League. More specifically, the 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 13th through November 14th — the Arizona Fall League (AFL) provides 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. With several of this year’s MLB All-Stars being former AFL players, the best of the best certainly travel through the fall league.
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. In my mind, that provides 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. That would take dozens of stamps to complete, and I simply don’t want to put the money and time into addressing all of those envelopes, only to receive back a few. Last year I sent six autograph requests to the AFL and got back just three. Therefore, I’m only sending to a select group of players this time around, beginning with Josh Hader, Lewis Brinson, A.J. Reed, Brett Phillips, Austin Meadows, Dominic Smith and Alex Reyes.
All of those players have bright futures ahead in the big leagues. In addition, they all have a history of signing through the mail for people. While that doesn’t guarantee that they will sign during the fall league, I’m willing to take that chance.
I may or may not send off a few more requests in the next couple of weeks, depending on who is signing for people. But no matter what, I plan 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 be sure to check back over the next few months to see updates of the autographs I successfully receive.
With the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take today to recap the entire season. It was all very exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.
But instead of talking about the events that took place this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that lead that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.
The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:
MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING
Most Games Played – Manny Machado and Kyle Seager (161).
Most At-Bats – Jose Altuve (638)
Most Hits – Dee Gordon (205)
Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.338)
Highest OBP – Bryce Harper (.460)
Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.649)
Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (122)
Most Doubles – Michael Brantley (45)
Most Triples – Eddie Rosario (15)
Most Home Runs – Chris Davis (47)
Most RBI’s – Nolan Arenado (130)
Most Base On Balls – Joey Votto (143)
Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (208)
Most Stolen Bases – Dee Gordon (58)
Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (20)
Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (29)
Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (30)
Most Sacrifice Flies – Nolan Arenado (11)
Most Total Bases – Nolan Arenado (354)
Most Extra Base Hits – Nolan Arenado (89)
Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (28)
Most Ground Outs – Joe Mauer (242)
Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (3,020)
Most Plate Appearances – Manny Machado (713)
MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING
Most Wins – Jake Arrieta (22)
Most Losses – Shelby Miller (17)
Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.66)
Most Games Started – Chris Archer (34)
Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (81)
Most Saves – Mark Melancon (51)
Most Innings Pitched – Clayton Kershaw (232.2)
Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (228)
Most Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (122)
Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (118)
Most Home Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick and James Shields (33).
Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (301)
Most Walks – Tyson Ross (84)
Most Complete Games – Six players tied for most (4).
Most Shutouts – Jake Arrieta, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw (3).
Best Opponent Avg. – Jake Arrieta (.185)
Most Games Finished – Jeurys Familia (65)
Most Double Plays Achieved – John Lackey and Mike Pelfrey (29).
Most Wild Pitches – Garrett Richards (17)
Most Balks – Al Alburquerque, Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels (4).
Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (44)
Most Pickoffs – Clayton Kershaw (9)
Most Batters Faced – Dallas Keuchel (911)
Most Pitches Thrown – Dallas Keuchel (3,492)
The ‘Beat the Streak’ fantasy baseball game has been around for over the past decade. Offering the chance for any fan to pick up 5.6 million dollars if they can amass a consecutive 57 players picked with a hit, it’s no surprise why it’s so popular.
And yet, no one has ever taken home the top prize. Several have come close, but none have even cracked the 50 mark. With only a couple of weeks remaining in the season, it appears that the money for a 57-game hit streak is safe again.
But MLB.com is giving the fans one last shot at becoming a millionaire overnight — admittedly, it is a long shot at best.
As they have done several times this season and over the past several years, fans are being given the opportunity to beat the streak in a day (tonight, to be specific). If anyone picks 57 players who all record at least one hit tonight, they will win the grand prize. Therefore, I’m giving it one last go as well.
I already selected my 57 players, and you should too by clicking HERE.
Maybe you’ll get really lucky and wind up winning the money. That certainly wouldn’t be a bad exchange for 10 minutes of your time.
There are less than twenty games left to be played by each team around baseball. If the season ended today, the ten teams making the playoffs would be the Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers, Astros, Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates and Cubs. With half of those teams not having seen the playoffs in years, that would certainly make for an exciting October.
However, while things are beginning to become more clear as far as postseason races are concerned, there are a few spots that are by no means set in stone.
The Twins and Angels are within five games of the American League Wild Card, and there are anumber of other teams that theoretically stand a shot at making somewhat improbable last-minute playoff pushes. With that said, however, they do seem like a long shot for the most part.
With the exception of perhaps a few teams, the ten teams listed at the beginning of this post stand the best shot at making the playoffs of any teams in baseball.
When all the teams have officially been locked in for the postseason, I’ll be posting a blog post on my predictions of the 2015 postseason. Until then, it should be an intriguing finish to the regular season to watch.
The historic homer was his second of the night and came off of Rays’ lefty Matt Moore. In a season that’s destined to wind up with another last place finish for the Red Sox, Ortiz achieving the impressive milestone is one of the few bright spots from the year.
But it didn’t seem as if Ortiz would get there this season with the slow start he began the year with. Through the All-Star break, Ortiz was hitting just .231 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI’s. However, since the Midsummer Classic, Ortiz has been on a tear, blasting 19 home runs while hitting around .340.
Ortiz leads the Red Sox in home runs (his next closest rival is 15 home runs back) as well as RBI’s in 2015, and is just five RBI’s from another 30+ homer, 100+ RBI season — his third straight and ninth overall. Ortiz’s 442 homers with the Red Sox is good enough for third in franchise history, behind just Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.
However, despite tremendous career stats, there still remains the question of whether or not David Ortiz is worthy of the Hall of Fame. In my mind, he absolutely is. Not only is he one of the best Red Sox players in history, he is simply one of the best baseball players in history.
Last year I did a post at the end of the 20 games I spent out at a baseball park recapping my 2014 MiLB and MLB season. Unfortunately, this time around, I wasn’t able to make it to any MLB games, however, with the 2015 MiLB season now over for me, I wanted to post an overview of the games and of the autographs I received this year, nonetheless. In all, I managed to make it to 16 baseball games this season. It was a great year, full of fun, and I thought I’d take the time to recap it all:
April 3rd — Greensboro Grasshoppers Vs. Miami Marlins
I went into this game looking forward to the opportunity to get autographs from the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Ichiro Suzuki, but things didn’t go as I had hoped. Both Ichiro and Stanton signed for a few people, but I wasn’t able to get either one. Even so, I still managed to get Brett Butler and Donovan Solano to sign a couple of cards each, with Steven Cishek and Tom Koehler signing a card for me as well:
Myrtle Beach has one of my favorite ballparks that I’ve ever visited, and the last time I was there they had a roster that included Joey Gallo, Jorge Alfaro and Nick Williams. This time around, their team wasn’t quite as good, but I still managed to get autos from some of their standouts, including Tayler Scott on my ticket, Duane Underwood on a couple of cards, and Billy McKinney and Shawon Dunston Jr. on a card:
April 24th — Carolina Mudcats Vs. Salem Red Sox
I was hoping that the Red Sox would have their top prospect, Yoan Moncada, as part of their lineup at this game, but he hadn’t yet been promoted. Instead, I settled for Sam Travis, and a couple of autos from Wendell Rijo. So all in all, it was an okay night:
May 2nd — Carolina Mudcats Vs. Frederick Keys
With Hunter Harvey, Chance Sisco and Josh Hart all on the disabled list, this wasn’t the best of teams, but I had already planned on going out to the game and decided to keep my plans. I was able to get a card signed by Adrian Marin, as well as a 4×6 photo signed by Drew Dosch, so it wasn’t a complete loss:
May 5th — Carolina Mudcats Vs. Lynchburg Hillcats
This turned out to be the first good game of the year for me. Lynchburg possessed the Indians’ number one overall draft pick from the 2013 as well as the 2014 draft, and I was looking forward to seeing them both. In the end, I got three autographs from Clint Frazier, two from Bradley Zimmer, two from Nelson Rodriguez and one from Mike Papi:
May 14th — Durham Bulls Vs. Scranton/Wilkes Barre Railriders
The game started off fairly poorly for me, with me only getting Rob Segedin and Jacob Lindgren before the game, but I made up for it by getting Slade Heathcott, Jose Ramirez, Tyler Austin (on three cards) and Bryan Mitchell outside after the game:
May 31st — Durham Bulls Vs. Syracuse Chiefs
I was looking to get A.J. Cole at this game, but apparently he wasn’t there for whatever reason, and Jose Valverde absolutely refused to sign for anyone. Other than that, I did alright, getting most of who I wanted. I ended up with two autos from Bob Milacki, and one from Ian Stewart, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jason Martinson, Cutter Dykstra and Matt den Dekker:
June 8th — Carolina Mudcats Vs. Potomac Nationals
There was basically only one reason I was attending this game: Luas Giolito. As the number five prospect in baseball at the time, I was really looking forward at trying to get his autograph. Not only did I get Giolito (a total of three times), but I also got Drew Ward, Chris Bostick and Jake Johansen on two cards each, and Reynaldo Lopez on a 4×6 photo:
As brief side notes, the “Go Nats” inscription from Jake Johansen was done without asking, and Lopez signed the photo sideways. Interesting, to say the least.
June 10th — Durham Bulls Vs. Lehigh Valley Ironpigs
I’ve always liked day games, and this was the third straight year I had attended one in Durham. I was looking to get autographs from players in Lehigh Valley, but it just wasn’t my day. For the first time in my memory, I didn’t get a single autograph at a minor league baseball game — not one. I could’ve, and really should’ve, but there was a combination of players ignoring me, people blocking my view, or whatever. But it’s all okay. My next game was going to be a big one, and I was determined to redeem myself.
June 20th — Durham Bulls Vs. Columbus Clippers
I had been looking forward to seeing Francisco Lindor again for the third time in three years, but he was called up a week before the game. Still, Columbus had a good enough team. I ended up getting autos from Jose Ramirez, Carlos Marmol, Tyler Naquin and James Ramsey on the Columbus side, and Richie Shaffer and J.P. Arencibia on the Bulls side:
June 24th — Durham Bulls Vs. Toledo Mud Hens
The second day game of the season for me, I was looking forward to this game a lot. Not only did I enjoy day games (as mentioned earlier), but Toledo had a really good team that included Steven Moya. Unfortunately, Moya didn’t sign, and all I walked away with was an auto from Mike Hessman, Leon Durham and Corey Jones:
June 30th — Hickory Crawdads Vs. Greenville Drive
This was the last Single-A or higher minor league ballpark in North Carolina that I had never visited, and I was excited to finally make the trip. The visiting team happened to have Red Sox uber prospect, Yoan Moncada, as well as several other of their top prospects. I ended up getting autos from Michael Chavis, Rafael Devers, Joseph Monge, Bryan Hudson and Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, and Jairo Beras from the Rangers:
With Gwinnett not being that great of a team, with the exception of their starting pitcher, Tyrell Jenkins, I went for the Bulls’ side instead. I ended up getting Luke Maile, Corey Brown, Richie Shaffer, Taylor Motter and Blake Snell to sign a card (or two), as well as a rehabbing Desmond Jennings:
August 9th — Durham Bulls Vs. Louisville Bats
This turned out to be the best game of the entire season for me. I was able to get Ted Power, Delino DeShields, Donn Roach, Brennan Boesch, John Lamb, Robert Stephenson, Kyle Waldrop, Brandon Finnegan, Sam LeCure, Tony Cingrani and Matt Moore to all sign a card or two:
There was really no point in me attending this game, as I had seen a good Salem team earlier in the year, but I decided to go out anyway. With me not needing much of anyone, I ended up getting just one auto, from Teddy Stankiewicz:
August 30th – Durham Bulls Vs. Charlotte Knights
This was the last game of the year for me, and I did alright. I ended up getting an autographed card from Rob Brantly, Dayan Viciedo (the rain caused it to smear a bit at the end), Blake Smith, Onelki Garcia, Micah Johnson, Tyler Colvin and Kyle Drabek, as well as an autographed 4×6 photo from Jason Coats:
By the Numbers
Though you could take the time for yourself to add it all up, I figured I’d make things a bit easier. Here’s a numbers recap of my 2015 MiLB season:
Games attended: 16
Win-loss record for the home team: 8-8
Total runs scored (Home Team-Visitor): 72-70
Top 100 prospects seen in person: 10
Autographs from top 100 prospects: 9
Total autographs: 102
Total miles traveled to & from games: 2,140
With the first five months of the 2015 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.
But 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 leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.
The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:
MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING
Most Games Played – Manny Machado and Kyle Seager (131).
Most At-Bats – Yoenis Cespedes (523)
Most Hits – Jose Altuve and Dee Gordon (161)
Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.358)
Highest OBP – Miguel Cabrera (.460)
Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.626)
Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (101)
Most Doubles – Michael Brantley (40)
Most Triples – Kevin Kiermaier (12)
Most Home Runs – Nelson Cruz (39)
Most RBI’s – Josh Donaldson (108)
Most Base On Balls – Joey Votto (115)
Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (175)
Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (54)
Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (16)
Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (24)
Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (25)
Most Sacrifice Flies – Edwin Encarnacion and Ryan Zimmerman (9).
Most Total Bases – Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson (298)
Most Extra Base Hits – Josh Donaldson (72)
Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (24)
Most Ground Outs – Nick Markakis (191)
Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (2,454)
Most Plate Appearances – Josh Donaldson (578)
MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING
Most Wins – Jake Arrieta (17)
Most Losses – Matt Garza and Aaron Harang (14).
Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.61)
Most Games Started – Four players tied for most (28).
Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (66)
Most Saves – Mark Melancon (43)
Most Innings Pitched – Corey Kluber (200.1)
Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (195)
Most Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (102)
Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (98)
Most Home Runs Allowed – Dan Haren and Anibal Sanchez (29).
Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (236)
Most Walks – Tyson Ross (74)
Most Complete Games – Mark Buehrle and Corey Kluber (4).
Most Shutouts – Nine players tied for most (9).
Best Opponent Avg. – Zack Greinke (.189)
Most Games Finished – Mark Melancon (54)
Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey (24).
Most Wild Pitches – Nathan Karns and Garrett Richards (14).
Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)
Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (39)
Most Pickoffs – Brett Anderson (6)
Most Batters Faced – Corey Kluber (793)
Most Pitches Thrown – Corey Kluber (2,931)
Sunday will mark the 16th and final game I will attend of the 2015 MiLB season.
It’s certainly been a fun year, and it seemed to fly by. But with neither the Mudcats or the Bulls (my two local teams) set to make the playoffs this season, Sunday’s game between the Durham Bulls and Charlotte Knights will be the last one for me this year.
The previous fifteen games I’ve gone to so far this year were all exciting, and saw me heading to ballparks in Hickory, Greensboro, Durham, Zebulon and Myrtle Beach. Throughout the year, and my travels, I managed to get around 100 autographs again this year, and I’ll be detailing them all in full within the next week or two.
With the Bulls schedule for next year already released, I’ve already been looking ahead to the 2016 season, trying to project which players will be coming to town. From the way I’m viewing things, next year could be even more eventful than 2015, but that’s a long time down the road, and anything can happen.