Monday, December 16, 2013

Best Hitter in the World!

There is a big debate over the best player in Major League Baseball right now, Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout. Now Chris Davis has thrown his hat into their circle as well. However, I don't want to talk about who is the best player, I want to talk about who is the best hitter. I'm going to break down five MLB players and two international players to determine who the best hitter is. I used basic projections on the two international players because they don't get as many at-bats as Major League players. I will place each player in order from seven to one. I will show the potential numbers each player could post. However I will not be using Slugging or OPS because of the large difference between MLB and International numbers.
Number Seven Adrian Beltre. Adrian Beltre and the upcoming number six both have the same problem. That is health. Beltre was healthy this year and put up big numbers for the Rangers. His only real flaw that separates him from the other six is that he doesn't walk. He has the lowest on-base percentage out of all the hitters.
Number Six Jose Bautista. Bautista has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons. The argument could be made that he would have led in Home Runs both of those years as well. When healthy and confident he can hit above .300 and draw a lot of walks. If he does regain his form in 2014 he could easily move into the MVP conversation.
Number Five Wladimir Balentien. The new Home Run King in Japan has had two of the three things you need to play in the big leagues, power and potential. He just never had opportunity. He got that in Japan. His first two seasons their were above average. He hit a lot of home runs and his batting average was okay. But he exploded for 60 home runs and .330 batting average. If he can replicate those numbers look for him to be back in the Show.
Number Four Chris Davis. I personally want to put him number two, but he's still evolving. Davis defines power hitter with home runs and doubles to all fields. I marvel at how easy his swing is and that the ball goes as far as it does. One reason I can't rank him higher is because he slumped. His walk rate should go up, but his strikeouts will remain high. It's an easy price to pay.
Number Three Mike Trout. I bet you're surprised to see him at three. I can't say anything bad about Mike Trout. He lived up to all the hype and then some. A unique blend of speed and power that is only going to get better. His on-base percentage skyrocketed this year, but his other stats dipped. That was mainly due to no hitting around him.
Number Two Jose Dariel Abreu. The new Cuban defector is my number two. He has been dubbed Best Hitter in the World by baseball expects around the world. Massive power and a good eye for both walks and contact. People still aren't sure if he actually can produce at the big league level. They weren't sure about Darvish either though. Abreu will produce, maybe not at first or even during his first year, but he will be at the top shortly.
And Number One Miguel Cabrera. There really is no debate. He has an easy swing, he can hit to all fields with significant power, he makes contact and draws walks. If he hadn't hurt himself in September he would have put up even crazier numbers. Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter right now.
Here are what the stats could look like. BA/Runs/Hits/2B/3B/HR/RBI/SB/OBP
  1. Miguel Cabrera        .360/127/230/35/1/52/165/3/.458
  2. Jose D. Abreu          .344/128/206/37/0/64/162/2/.479
  3. Mike Trout              .324/145/204/37/10/32/99/45/.432
  4. Chris Davis              .315/122/189/46/1/65/163/4/.392
  5. Wladimir Balentian .330/118/181/21/0/70/164/0/.455
  6. Jose Bautista            .300/113/175/31/2/48/127/9/.419
  7. Adrian Beltre           .310/102/196/43/2/40/121/2/.365
If you notice I have three men breaking the American League Record for Home Runs as well as Balentian reaching the 70 Home Run mark. Are these number realistic? I believe so. Miguel Cabrera has proved that he can do it, so let's see who else can.
My honorable mentions go to: David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Kemp and Albert Pujols.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Hall of Fame Ballot

With the upcoming Hall of Fame Induction, I'll show you my who I'd vote for.
First Edgar Martinez. Edgar is the 2nd Greatest DH to ever play the game. People complain that he he didn't field so he shouldn't get in, well closers pitch a single inning and are expected to get in. Edgar is only behind David Ortiz in the DH category. His clutch play in the 1995 playoffs against the Yankees has to play into it. And his lifetime on-base percentage.
Second Craig Biggio. Biggio has the instant entry 3000 hits. He also has almost 700 doubles. Multiple Gold Gloves and played many positions. He was durable and reliable. Not as clutch as Edgar, but a definate Hall of Famer.
Third, Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell fell short of the 500 home run mark, but had a lifetime on-base percentage of over 400. He had Gold Gloves and a Rookie of the Year award. I believe he was an all natural player like Edgar Martinez. I don't believe he was a PED guy.
Fourth Larry Walker. Here's another man suspected of PED use. Well then the rest of the Rockies were on them too. Oh wait, it's the stadium that caused those home runs. If you deny him entrance because of the ballpark, you have to do it for guys like Todd Helton.
Fifth, Mike Piazza. Never proven to have taken PEDs, people still suspect him. But that all it is, suspection. He was by far the greatest offensive catcher of all time. Never the best defender, that didn't stop the Mets or the Dodgers from winning. He also had the greatest single season for a catcher, where he had 200 hits, 40 home runs and a .360 batting average.
Sixth Fred McGriff. The Crime Dog also missed the 500 home run make. That doesn't mean anything. He was reliable, durable and powerful. He wasn't the guy to crush 500 foot home runs, but that's because he wasn't on PEDs. He was a clean player and unleashed great offence.
Seventh Tim Raines. One of the greatest lead-off hitters ever. Only behind Ricky Henderson and Lou Brock as lead off men. He has 800 stolen bases and was a 7x All-Star.
Eigth, Lee Smith. Once the all time saves leader until Rivera and Hoffman. Lee Smith not only had good stuff, he was an imposing pressence on the mound. He's third all time in saves and has a career ERA of 3.03.
Ninth, Steve Finley. He didn't reach the 3000 hit club, but he had 2500. He also had 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases. A 5x Gold Golver and a consistant performer. His OPS is lacking, but he still gets my vote.
Finally, Roger Clemens. The only man on my Ballot connected to PEDs. His trainer testified that he started doing PEDs when he joined the Blue Jays. Okay, then as a Red Sox he's still a Hall of Famer. He had 192 wins with the Red Sox, tied with Cy Young for the franchise record. He also had 3 Cy Young awards an MVP and 2500 strikeouts. Those numbers should normally put you in the Hall of Fame. But even if we believe he used PEDs it was never proven. His case is similar to Barry Bonds. Bonds was fantastic before he started using PEDs. But Bonds used PEDs to break records and be the best, if Clemens did PED he did it so he could keep playing. He loved the game and still does. He's a humbled family man now. A man who cried when honored by the Red Sox as their second greatest pitcher all time. If we ignored the fact he's connected to PEDs he is one of the top ten pitchers all time. That's I pick Roger.
Now I mentioned Barry Bonds. Like I said, Bonds did PEDs to be the best. Like McGuire, like Sosa and like Consaco. But I have more respect for McGuire and Sosa. They may have been on PEDs but they saved baseball with the home run race. McGuire went on to admit his use and his regret of using PEDs even though it will cost him entrance into the Hall of Fame. That means alot in my book.
So tell me your picks for Hall of Fame.