MLB’s Most Overrated and Underrated Players

Wainwright

Discussing the most over and underrated players in baseball is an annual exercise that creates a lot of spirited debate and reaction. There’s no scientific formula to determine or verify who falls where; just opinion, eye-tests and carefully manipulated stats to prove points. That being said, the best reason to do it is because it’s fun.

Here are some players I believe are among the most over and underrated in the game today. Continue reading

2012 All-Fantasy Bust Team

Lincecum

This is part two of a three part series that reviews the 2012 Fantasy Baseball season. In the first installment, I gave my “All-Fantasy” team. This round will be my “Bust” squad followed by the “Over-achievers” in the last installment. I’ll rundown each position and add Honorable Mentions or in the case of this column, (Dis)honorable Mentions! Continue reading

Willie Mays Award – American League

I posted my National League ballot earlier today and I continue with my American League ballot now. This is by far the more difficult of the two awards to decide on.

There are probably one of four guys that I think belong at the top and I have to narrow it down to a ballot of three. Very difficult but I will try my best.

Continue reading

My Mid-Season Top 25 Prospects

Like Mikey’s top 25 from yesterday, I will only include players that I believe will still hold prospect status at the end of the year and no recent draftees. That means no Mike Trout or Gerrit Cole on my list. Here are my current top 25 prospects:

  1. Bryce Harper (OF – WAS)
  2. Matt Moore (LHP – TB)
  3. Manny Machado (SS – BAL)
  4. Julio Teheran (RHP – ATL)
  5. Shelby Miller (RHP – STL)
  6. Jameson Taillon (RHP – PIT)
  7. Carlos Martinez (RHP – STL)
  8. Martin Perez (LHP – TEX)
  9. Brett Lawrie (3B – TOR)
  10. Jacob Turner (RHP – DET)
  11. Jesus Montero (C – NYY)
  12. Jurickson Profar (SS – TEX)
  13. Manny Banuelos (LHP – NYY)
  14. Wil Myers (OF – KC)
  15. Arodys Vizcaino (RHP – ATL)
  16. Desmond Jennings (OF – TB)
  17. Devin Mesoraco (C – CIN)
  18. Aaron Hicks (OF – MIN)
  19. Jarrod Parker (RHP – ARI)
  20. Miguel Sano (3B – MIN)
  21. Hak-Ju Lee (SS – TB)
  22. Tyler Skaggs (LHP – ARI)
  23. Leonys Martin (OF – TEX)
  24. Taijuan Walker (RHP – SEA)
  25. Travis d’Arnaud (C – TOR)

The biggest jumps from my pre season top 175 list were Taijuan Walker (152nd), Tyler Skaggs (83rd), Jurickson Profar (78th), and Hak-Ju Lee (74th). Most people would have Carlos Martinez as their highest jumping prospect but he was 48th on my pre season list and I am not surprised to see him 7th right now.

There are a few guys that just missed the cut and would have been in my next group. Gary Brown is having an amazing season but I would like to see what he can do in AA before he makes that big of a jump on my board. Jarred Cosart was on the bubble for me. I really like his stuff but the numbers have not matched the stuff to date. His command is average at best and he needs to stay healthy. Jake Odorizzi also just missed my list. I love his feel for pitching and matching it with his stuff makes him a potential #2 starter. Robbie Erlin is another that has fantastic numbers. He is 20 and has a 48/6 K/BB ratio in 48.2 AA innings.

I love Jason Kipnis but his mediocre defense kept him out of my top 25. He very well may be my #26 guy, though, because the bat is very legit. Brett Jackson also missed the cut but I absolutely love the tools. He can play center and could be a 20/20 guy in the Majors very soon. One last guy that I absolutely love is Oswaldo Arcia. He has an outside shot at cracking my top 25 for next year if he can prove the shoulder issues are behind him and he keeps raking like he is.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and you can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert and follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt

Midseason Top 25 Prospect List

We are at the halfway point in the season, and many prospects have taken strides or falls in their development. Here is my midseason top 25 prospect list. Prospects must not be at the big league level, used up their rookie eligibility, and all 2011 draftees are excluded as well.

  1. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
  2. Matt Moore, LHP, Rays
  3. Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves
  4. Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals
  5. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
  6. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates
  7. Jesus Montero, C, Yankees
  8. Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers
  9. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
  10. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Indians
  11. Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays
  12. Manny Banuelos, LHP, Yankees
  13. Jacob Turner, RHP, Tigers
  14. Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals
  15. Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays
  16. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Diamondbacks
  17. Wil Myers, OF, Royals
  18. Travis d’Arnaud, C, Blue Jays
  19. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays
  20. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Royals
  21. Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds
  22. Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers
  23. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners
  24. Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets
  25. Gary Brown, OF, Giants

Some guys that just missed the cut for me are Robbie Erlin, Brad Peacock, Jason Kipnis, Dee Gordon, and Brett Jackson. I would also like to note that Mike Trout would be my number one prospect if he was not at the major league level.

A few players that I think you have to watch for to jump onto this list by the end of the season are Nolan Arenado, Anthony Gose, Nick Castellanos and Zach Wheeler.

2011 Top 175 Prospects



There is no need to bore you with multiple paragraphs that you will not read or maybe skim over at best. Everyone wants to see the list, whether they will agree with it or not. One note is that I did not include anyone that does not qualify as a rookie, meaning anyone over 130 at-bats, over 50 innings pitched, or more than 45 days on the active roster will not make my list. Hope you enjoy it, critique it, and then tell me how awesome I am.

I kid, but seriously, without further ado here is the list:

Continue reading

Ideal Fantasy Players

We all want a fantasy baseball roster that is well-balanced in many areas. Offensively, everyone loves a player that will provide both power and speed. Those are typically two very important offensive categories. Having a player that can provide you with both of those stats will really help your team win! Now who are the best players at doing this?

Bill James came up with a statistic called the Power/Speed Number. To have a good Power/Speed Number, a player must do well in BOTH the homerun and stolen base department. You won’t see someone with 50 homeruns and 3 stolen bases or with 50 stolen bases and 3 homeruns doing well in this category.

Here are the top 10 Power/Speed number players from 2010:

Player Pw/Sp-# Stolen Bases HR
1. Carlos Gonzalez 29.5 26 34
2. Chris Young 27.5 27 28
3. Carl Crawford 27.1 47 19
4. Alex Rios 26.0 34 21
5. Hanley Ramirez 25.4 32 21
5. Drew Stubbs 25.4 30 22
6. B.J. Upton 25.2 42 18
7. Shane Victorino 23.5 34 18
8. Matt Kemp 22.6 19 28
9. Joey Votto 22.3 16 37
10. Shin-Soo Choo 23.0 22 22

 

Those players got the job done with the bat and on the base paths. Another thing to note is that a large majority of those players are pretty young so they would be great options in a keeper league as well.

The league high in this stat department (29.5 by Carlos Gonzalez) was fairly low compared to the typical league highs. Over the past 10 years, the league high of the Power/Speed Number has been in the low to mid 30’s. The all time single season high was 43.9 by Alex Rodriguez in 1998.

Last year’s league leaders were Mark Reynolds in the National League (31.1) and Ian Kinsler (31.0) in the American League. Pay attention to those players in your fantasy draft as well because they are capable of being amongst the best in the league again.

Looking for players down the road that will do well in this category? Here is a list of notable prospects close to the major league level that could potentially provide both power and speed:

  • Domonic Brown, Phillies
  • Dustin Ackley, Mariners
  • Brandon Belt, Giants
  • Brett Jackson, Cubs
  • Aaron Hicks, Twins
  • Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays

 While these players aren’t the best overall fantasy players, they are certainly valuable and ideal as they put up solid numbers in two important offensive categories.