Category Archives: Mike Trout

POST SEASON AWARDS – 50% AIN’T BAD

 Dallas Keutchel (check), Bryce Harper (incorrect), Jake Arietta (incorrect), and Jeff Donaldson (check). That’s how it went in the Cy Young and MVP Awards for me. 
Noticing that both of my incorrect picks were unanimous winners certainly is something to give me pause. Maybe it’s time to hop on the Bryce Harper bandwagon……who knows. What I do know though is that Paul Goldschmidt is wallowing away in the Arizona desert and no one seems to recognize him. Or, maybe Bryce Harper is just that good.

Rookie Of The Year honors…….not really a big deal when you consider that such household names as Tom Tresh, Curt Blefary, John Castino, Pat Listach, and Marty Cordova also were awarded this honor. It’s nice, but prove it twice. Continue reading

THE CY YOUNG AND MVP AWARDS – REVISITED

Five weeks ago, I took a stab at who might win the Cy Young (left) images (8)and MVP (below) awards in each league. Yesterday, the top three finalists were announced in each category (somebody had a good idea). The field looks remarkably images (7)similar to the players I predicted would be in contention, except for the inclusion of Sonny Gray who emerged as a candidate for the AL Cy Young. 

While my reasoning behind the selections I made remains constant, my selections now are a bit different, mainly because the Post Season is now over. In the same way I put stock in a player’s TEAM making the playoffs, I now think that player’s performance in the Post Season counts equally as much. So, let’s get to the picks….. Continue reading

MVP VERSUS THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – A NEEDED CHANGE

Similar to yesterday, today’s post calls for another change that’s warranted and needed in Major League Baseball. Simply put, there should beimages-17 an award given to the Player Of The Year in each league that is separated from the vote for Most Valuable Player award…..and here’s why.

Mike Trout (left) and Miguel Cabrera (right) both are having stellar years again. In Trout’s caseimages-20 hardly a day goes by when he isn’t being seriously being talked about as a MVP candidate…..as well he should be given the current rules and the traditional way MVP’s have been selected over the years.

But, how “valuable” can a player really be when his team doesn’t even manage to make the playoffs (as the case will be for the Angels and Tigers this year). In the case of the Tigers, they have been a truly awful and disappointing team whether he was in the lineup or not (out with injuries).

And that is why the MVP award belongs to either Jose Altuveimages-13 (left) of the Houston Astros or Josh Donaldson(right) of images-30 the Toronto Blue Jays. Altuve’s current batting average of .306, 36 steals, along with a .796 OPS  hardly compare to the gaudy numbers of a Mike Trout. Josh Donaldson’s most certainly do – but he is a late arrival on the team putting him more in the category of Player Of The Year…..so my vote goes to Altuve who is indisputably invaluable to the Astros as they continue to lead their Division.

It’s the same thing in the National League. Who is having a better year than Paul Goldschmidt (left)? He’s (currently) hitting .326 with 26 homers images-27images-24
96 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and a whopping 1.005 OPS.  Meanwhile, there’s another player who plays on a team that is destined for the playoffs and has numbers like .305, 20, and 85 RBI. Not as sexy but again, where would the Pirates be without Andrew McCutchen…….. their team leader in so many ways. (my vote hands down)

It’s really a simple change that would augment fan interest during the Hot Stove Season while giving players an added incentive to keep playing at a high level……in spite of their team’s  losing season   (these awards talk very loud at contract time). And needles to say in case you are wondering…..yes one player could win both awards.

“I COULDN’T GIVE UP THOSE KIDS………”

In the early days of July and before the trading frenzy began, I posted a column titled The Yankees Should Stand Pat. It argued that there was no reason to part with the young and promising talent in the farm system………for the sake of buying temporary talent (think David Price) or by adding a marquee name or two just to appease the fan base.

We all know how it played out. The Yankees did just that while Toronto’ s GM (left)  images-39“loaded up” adding Price as a rental and the oft  injured Troy Tulowiski. We also know (now) that a 7.5 game lead by the Yankees is now extinguished and the Blue Jays hold a tenuous lead in the East.

But just yesterday, Hal Steinbrenner – the principal owner of the Yankees images-25– offered a resounding defense of the Yankees decision to play for and with the future declaring “I didn’t want to give those kids up”.  Yankee fans along with baseball fans know that statement is BIG. And almost simultaneously, a report comes out rating the Yankees  #10 in all of baseball’s farm systems.

Recent call up Greg Bird goes 0 for 5 in his debut. Think that’ll continue?images-36……….not so says Luis Severino (left) (another sparkling farm system call up)……….Severino simply says he’s “The best”. Soon to follow will be Aaron Judge, a power hitter made for Yankee Stadium, Gary Sanchez – a major league ready hitter and catcher who may have to wait for Brian McCann to decompose at a early age due to a physically demanding position as well as a log  jam at DH that is further blurred by the arrival of Bird.

And so, for once the Yankees can truly be called a team of the future. Make no mistake about it though……..they will always have a marquee player or two- or three. They are the Yankees and they do play in New York. And when the time is right, you’ll see them actively engaged in the free agent and trade markets. So don’t be surprised if you see the likes of Bryce Harper, Matt Harvey, Mike Trout playing for this storied franchise in the future.

As for this year, (well) let’s just see how it plays out. I’ve said before…..the Yankees have a team with chemistry and proven experienced (though aging) talent while the Blue Jays have a buzz saw lineup. And down the stretch they come…….

A BUMPER CROP OF TALENT – BASEBALL IS BLESSED!

It’s hard to recall a time in recent baseball history when so many young and very talented players burst on the scene carrying promise of not only a great future for themselves but for baseball as well.

This bumper crop is evenly composed of both position players and pitchers. They are spread evenly across leagues and teams. In the NFL,images-23 images-16they would all be tagged as “Franchise Players”. Mike Trout (right) and Bryce Harper (upper left) look like  reincarnations of Mickey Mantle while Felix Hernandez (right)images-18 and Jose Fernandez (left) recall memories of Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez years before they entered the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Add to that quartet  relative newcomers like Dallas Keutchel (lower left) images-20of young and forward marching Houston Astrosimages-31 plus Giancarlo Stanton (right)  and you have the makings of some very exciting baseball for many years to come.

But hold on there……..not so fast. Before we anoint them into the Baseball Hall Of Fame, we need to remember – the Hall is based solely on number (historically)……300 wins, 500 home runs, 3000 hits……..etc.

And with these young exciting players, there are two caveats to recognize and they’re both reasons why we might only see one or two actually make the Hall Of Fame.

The first caveat is simple mathematics. Each player is destined to make a minimum of a quarter of a billion dollars over their career. images-32Some will earn even more. So, the question becomes how long will they need or want to play before they retire and move on to other things? Will the fire continue to burn for twenty years as it did for someone like Derek Jeter (remember – it takes 15 years at 200 hits per to reach 3000 – and for pitchers averaging 15 wins over 15 seasons only nets 275 career wins). So, it’s a long road ahead for these perennial All Stars.

The second caveat is even more looming. Because we need to add to each the “if he stays healthy” clause to each of their careers. Look at the list…….images-29how many have been afflicted with injuries even to this point in their brief time on the field. Will a perennially injured All Star like Troy Tulowiski have the numbers to qualify for the Hall? Coupled with that are the ever conscious owners and GM’ who seek to protect their investments by holding them back (the Mets and Matt Harvey?) until a bevy of doctors say “Go!………

So, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with these young phenoms as their careers play out. Will they have the stamina and desire to play long enough to put up the numbers the Hall has traditionally required……..