This year’s baseball free agent market has been an interesting one. With the likes of Albert Pujols up for grabs things are bound to get interesting, but it’s not just Pujols. This year’s free agent market includes many other big names as well. Needless to say there has been lots of money thrown around and more will be thrown. However, with Pujols, Furcal and Reyes having already signed with new teams and Rollins likely to re-sign with the Phils, the Christmas list is getting smaller. Here are my top three remaining.
1. Prince Fielder – Fielder is one of those players that can instantly change your offense from mediocre to great. Adding his bat is likely to add over 100 RBI’s and 30 Home Runs. This kind of production doesn’t come cheap nowadays, especially when it has an agent by the name of Scott Boras. Teams currently interested in the heavy-set first baseman include the Rangers, Mariners, Blue Jays and Cubs. This would lead me to say the Cubs top the list of most likely to sign him considering Pujols has already slipped through their fingers and they have a recent history of throwing ridiculous amounts of money at players. If you’re Fielder, imagine what your home run total will look like playing half of your games at Wrigley…
2. Carlos Beltran – I’d imagine some people may not agree with this, but hear me out. I don’t think many people would disagree that Beltran was not a great signing for the Mets, but that is because he was WAY overpaid. This, plus his string of injuries, has given the outfielder too much of a bad rap. He is a good player, and when he is on a hot streak he is one of the best. Rumored to currently lead the race are the Cardinals who are looking to make up for lost offense. This guy could really end up being a steal.
3. Ryan Madson – In the modern game a great bullpen arm is a very valuable thing. This is exactly what Ryan Madson will give a team. He has consistently been one of the best arms in the Phillies bullpen for several years and there will be plenty of competition for him. Again, a Scott Boras client, meaning you will be signing a large check to obtain his services.
With players of this quality remaining, there is still plenty to talk about in this free agent market.
For a franchise that is historically relevant, the Pittsburgh Pirates have stunk for nearly two decades now. In fact, they’ve been so bad, the team has set an infamous record – the longest streak in all four major American pro sports for losing seasons, currently sitting at 18 seasons.
In a way, that is pretty remarkable, considering some of the clubs across the professional sporting world (the Bengals in the NFL and the Royals in the MLB, just to name a few). Despite their floundering, the Bucco’s do have a bright spot in Andrew McCutchen, who will almost certainly be the teams leading batter for a third consecutive season.
Over the last two seasons, McCutchen has averaged 14 homeruns, 55 rbi’s, .286 batting average and a .365 slugging percentage. These numbers are by no means jaw-dropping, but for us less fortunate here in Pittsburgh, they’ll do. If he had a cast around him, they’d be inflated, no doubt.
Now I don’t want you to get the wrong impression – McCutchen will most likely never be a long ball hitter – his lanky frame isn’t built for that kind of power nor does he have a sweet swing. That being said, given a few years to develop (he’s only 24), he does have the raw
Who is the best hitter on the Florida Marlins?
For a franchise who frequently participates in fire sales, it’s amazing that they would keep anyone of star talent. But this year’s Marlins contain one of the best batters in the league: Hanley Ramirez. Even after a down 2010 season, Ramirez is poised to not only claim the top spot on his own team, but challenge the likes of Albert Pujols for MLB’s best offensive player.
How does Ramirez compare to the other Florida hitters?
Ramirez is the undisputed best hitter on the Marlins. He’s a 5-category player, who will lead Florida in runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and batting average. Although he’s good for 25 home runs, teammate Mike Stanton has the ability to hit more long-balls than Ramirez with 35+ a season. Overall, the Marlins and their starters should be more productive than they were last year, with Gaby Sanchez set to improve on his 85 RBI 2010 total, but no one on the team can compete with the total numbers provided by Ramirez.
Will Ramirez compete for the home run title?
Ramirez won’t compete for the title. If Ramirez manages to hit 30, that would be a marked improvement on his standard power numbers. Stanton may be the only Florida player who’ll threaten for the home run title.
Will Ramirez compete for the batting average title?
In 2010, Ramirez hit .300 over 543 at-bats. His numbers will improve, both his batting average and his at-bats, to the .315 and 570
Who is the best hitter on the Oakland A’s?
With a movie on the way starring Brad Pitt as himself, Billy Beane must be feeling great about life lately. His team on the other hand, isn’t flying as high as it once was. Beane became famous for his knack of picking up cheap gems in order to meet his tight team salary while still staying very competitive. But the 2011 lineup doesn’t feature any batter of true notoriety or distinction. The best the current lineup can offer is catcher Kurt Suzuki.
How does Suzuki compare to the other Oakland hitters?
There really isn’t much to discuss about this lineup. Everyone in the lineup will struggle to get more than 70 runs, hit 20+ home runs, knock in 80 or more RBIs, and none of their batters will approach .300 batting average by season’s end. On the bright side, Coco Crisp and Cliff Pennington both could steal 20-30 bases each. Suzuki should help the team by contributing to all five of the standard stats.
Will Suzuki compete for the home run title?
No he won’t. In 2010 he hit 13 balls out of the park, making him a very, very long shot to even become part of the home run title conversation. If he hits 20 or more balls out this year, consider that a personal success for Suzuki
Will Suzuki compete for the batting average title?
The 2010 season saw Suzuki average .242. Suzuki can definitely improve on his 2010 performance, but his batting average ceiling in
The Twins look to have their two headed double left handed monster tandem of Morneau and Mauer healthy going into the 2011 season. Morneau, the all world first baseman missed basically the second half of last year with lingering concussion symptoms. In the half year he played, he put up tremendous numbers that included 18 home runs and a .345 batting average. The batting average probably wouldn’t have held up through the entire year, but it is a safe bet that it would have been at .300 at the end of the year.
Even without Morneau, the Twins still made the playoffs in 2010. Mauer had a great year by most standards, but were not the typical numbers for the catcher with a lifetime batting average of .327. Mauer’s on base percentage was down 42 points and his power numbers suffered drastically as well. In 2009 Mauer hit 29, while his final total for 2010 was only 9. Catching takes a severe toll on the body, and Mauer’s best years are perhaps behind him. Mauer should still hit for a high average, but his power numbers are likely gone for good. This makes way for the emergence of Morneau as the best hitter the Twins have. He plays a position that is far less
Like the Baltimore Orioles, it’s hard to pick a single player as the best hitter on the Red Sox. But unlike the O’s, the Red Sox are a difficult team to pick a single player from because they have solid hitters. Overall, newcomer Adrian Gonzalez appears to be the favorite to be the top hitter and offensive producer on his team.
How does Gonzalez compare to the other Boston hitters?
There are a lot of productive hitters on the Red Sox. Besides Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jacob Ellsbury can each account for 100+ runs this year. Gonzalez not only will lead the team this season in home runs and RBIs, he’ll also hit above .300 which is tremendous for a player with his kind of power stroke. The only downside to Gonzalez is that he won’t steal any bases, but that’s why the Red Sox have Carl Crawford.
Will Gonzalez compete for the home run title?
Yes he can and he will. Gonzalez could very well hit 40 homers this year in Fenway Park, placing him among the long-ball elite in MLB. He
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly enters his first full season as a Major League manager with some questions on his roster. His infield is older and lacks power, and Marcus Thames heads into the season as the starting left fielder in a spacious park, so its not clear he can replace Manny Ramirez’s presence. One place where Mattingly has no questions, though, is at the top of his rotation. Clayton Kershaw is his number one starter, no questions asked.
In the minds of most baseball people, its a matter of when, not if, Clayton Kershaw will win an NL Cy Young Award with the Dodgers. The big Texan lefty is only 23, and last year struck out 212 hitters in 204 innings and posted a 2.91 ERA, all numbers that, along with his dominating stuff, point to a bright future in Dodger Blue. Will he live up to the tradition of Koufax, Drysdale, and Hershiser? The Dodgers sure hope so, and hope they see it sooner rather than later.
Chad Billingsley is an able number 2 starter, having topped 200 strikouts
Anytime that you have the reigning AL Cy Young winner you have to feel good about things. The problem with Seattle is that Felix Hernandez is about the only thing that they have to excited about in their pitching department. In the last couple of years Seattle has made a rash of big splashes in acquiring pitchers from Erik Bedard to Cliff Lee but the effort has not translated into wins on the diamond.
Gone is Cliff Lee from a mid season trade leaving Felix Hernandez without a reliable #2 behind him. Seattle would love it to be Erik Bedard who they traded away future all star Adam Jones for. He has been nothing but work for the trainers since arriving. Unfortunately there is not much hope for optimism behind him either. Seattle is looking to fill out the rotation with Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, and Michael Pineda. None of them see to be long term solutions.
Jason Vargas numbers can be deceiving to some as he had a 3.78 Era last year. On the other side of the numbers the .272 batting average against balls in play was low and 47% percent of balls hit ended up being fly balls with
What’s the story with the baseball players? The end of millions if they don’t want to play them on.! If you get they do your job. Not like some other players who are very happy to sign multi-million contract and all they do afterward Art is a go go onto the drinking rampant and drinking all or start bonding talk clients. Seriously guys!
I don’t want to sound grumpy, and I usually try to avoid making my own opinions on this blog however this morning I just realised I have to say something.
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Is Lance Berkman barking up the wrong tree?
He is just about to retire, or at least claims to be thinking of retirement from baseball and just at the start of what he claims to be his final year in MLB he starts to rebuff other teams. The ones that were giving him the most money to play once again with them. I don’t understand it.
This young pitcher has just signed a one year contract with St. Louis Cardinals in spite of the fact that Texas Rangers were willing to pay him more than his $8 Million Dollars deal with Cardinals.
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