Monday, September 19, 2016

The Rays Franchise Deep Three

Finally we've reached the end of this series (for now, at least). The last franchise on the board is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who've spent about two thirds of their existence as a laughingstock and the other third as the ultimate "do the most with the least" franchise. How does it shake out?

PC1B2B3BSSLFCFRF
1stDavid PriceToby HallCarlos PenaBen ZobristEvan LongoriaJulio LugoCarl CrawfordMelvin UptonMatt Joyce
2ndJames ShieldsDioner NavarroFred McGriffLogan ForsytheAubrey HuffJason BartlettDesmond JenningsRocco BaldelliBen Grieve
3rdScott KazmirJohn FlahertyTravis LeeMiguel CairoJared SandbergKevin StockerGreg VaughnRandy WinnDave Martinez

So...that 3rd Team is brutal. What do you expect from a franchise with such a short and usually bad history? Center field was fairly strong though, and once Kevin Kiermaier gets another year under his belt, he'll probably at least make it to the 2nd Team. Catcher was definitely the weakest position here. No offense to Toby Hall, but he wouldn't even crack the 6th Team for some franchises.

I'm hoping to recompile these in perhaps about five years, if I'm still doing this blog then. Certainly some players will have moved up or down on the lists, and even some players yet to debut will probably be there for a few of them. For now though, enjoy the 2015-16 rankings in all their up-to-date comprehensiveness.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Diamondbacks Franchise Deep Three

Down to the two 1998 expansion franchises, both of which I plan to put up this month. Let's start with the one that's won a World Series, the Arizona Diamondbacks:

PC1B2B3BSSLFCFRF
1stRandy JohnsonMiguel MonteroPaul GoldschmidtOrlando HudsonMatt WilliamsStephen DrewLuis GonzalezChris YoungJustin Upton
2ndCurt SchillingDamian MillerMark GraceAaron HillMark ReynoldsTony WomackGerardo ParraSteve FinleyDanny Bautista
3rdBrandon WebbChris SnyderTravis LeeJay BellJake LambAlex CintronEric ByrnesA.J. PollockDavid Dellucci


If you thought the 1993 teams had some slim pickings, how much more so teams with five fewer seasons! Right field and shortstop are both virtual wastelands after the top spots, and catcher, first base, and left field aren't all that hot either.

Second base surprised me. If we'd done a 4th Team, Junior Spivey could've been a solid choice. I wasn't expecting Orlando Hudson to claim the 1st Team spot, but it was hard to argue with his three strong seasons in the desert.

Center field is another good position. A.J. Pollock is currently on the 3rd Team, but with a few more good years, he could find himself on that 1st Team pretty quickly.

The best of all though, was pitcher. The 1st Teamer is in the Hall of Fame, the 2nd Teamer probably will be someday (deservingly), and the 3rd Teamer had the potential before an injury suddenly ended his career. After that, well...let's just say that a 4th Team would've diminished the impressiveness ratio.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Marlins Franchise Deep Three

Last time we did the Rockies, now it's time for that other 1993 expansion franchise, the one with higher heights and lower lows, the Florida/Miami Marlins. This team has been known for stockpiling talent and then giving it away in fire sales, so there were several short-term pieces that didn't make the three-season minimum.

PC1B2B3BSSLFCFRF
1stJosh JohnsonCharles JohnsonDerrek LeeLuis CastilloMike LowellHanley RamirezChristian YelichCody RossGiancarlo Stanton
2ndDontrelle WillisJ.T. RealmutoGreg ColbrunnDan UgglaMiguel CabreraEdgar RenteriaCliff FloydJuan PierreGary Sheffield
3rdJose FernandezMike RedmondGaby SanchezDonovan SolanoWes HelmsAdeiny HechaverriaJeff ConineMarcell OzunaMark Kotsay


Ah, Josh Johnson. A star that burnt briefly but oh-so-brightly. Ah, Dontrelle Willis. The same, but to a slightly lesser extent. Will Jose Fernandez be the great Marlin pitcher who doesn't get hurt or flame out?

J.T. Realmuto's career is off to a good start, already the second-best Marlin backstop. Mike Redmond was a career backup, but he was quite serviceable in his day, and stuck around longer than most backup catchers do.

Third base was tough, as there weren't a lot of options. Miguel Cabrera only played third base full time in two seasons, but he saw significant time there in two other seasons, so I decided to include him. Besides, he's a future Hall of Famer. Ya gotta get him in somewhere. Wes Helms on the 3rd Team, though? Yikes.

Left field was surprisingly strong, as many teams don't have long-lasting players there; it's just a place to stick a solid-but-replaceable hitter. Christian Yelich has been inspiring in his brief career there, and there was enough depth that a solid guy like Josh Willingham missed the cut.

Hanley Ramirez was far and away the best choice at short, and the rest was a sea of average. Alex Gonzalez, a longtime Marlin, missed the cut for being mediocre. It's a mystery he lasted as long as he did.

I didn't expect Cody Ross to be the Fish's top center fielder, but he turned out to be better than Pierre, the guy I predicted would take the spot. A shame he's already forgotten.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Rockies Franchise Deep Three

Wow, are we really at this point? A Deep Three? Yes, for the last four franchises in this series, I shall only go three deep. Even for this one, some spots on the 3rd Team were difficult to fill. Let's see how the table turned out with our friends in the mountains, the Colorado Rockies.

PC1B2B3BSSLFCFRF
1stUbaldo JimenezChris IannettaTodd HeltonDJ LeMahieuNolan ArenadoTroy TulowitzkiMatt HollidayDexter FowlerLarry Walker
2ndAaron CookJeff ReedAndres GalarragaEric YoungVinny CastillaWalt WeissCarlos GonzalezJuan PierreBrad Hawpe
3rdJhoulys ChacinWilin RosarioBen PaulsenClint BarmesGarrett AtkinsNeifi PerezCorey DickersonEllis BurksDante Bichette

First base and left field were hard to find a 3rd Teamer for. For first base, Mr. Rockie, Todd Helton, held it down for over half of the franchise's existence, and Andres Galarraga had a solid five-year run too. Justin Morneau also had a good season at the position, but with the three-year minimum required for this list, he couldn't make it. Ben Paulsen, enjoy your small claim to fame! Left field was hard just because it's one of those positions where several players tend to get tried, and I chose Dickerson because he seemed as good a choice as any.

Third base has been a surprisingly strong position for Colorado in its short history. Jeff Cirillo would've made the list had he played one more season with the Rockies, but there's no shame in having Garrett Atkins show up here.

Pitcher and catcher were surprisingly weak spots. Perhaps pitcher isn't too surprising, since the mile-high air is famously tough on hurlers, but you'd think there would've been at least one catcher better than Chris Iannetta. Nope. I suppose a quarter-century without ever having a great catcher isn't unheard-of in baseball, though.

DJ LeMahieu must be one of the most underrated players in the game. Who knew he was already the greatest Rockie second baseman of all time? Seriously, fans. Appreciate this guy.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Blue Jays Franchise Deep Four

Time for the latest installment of Deep Six, which has been reduced to Deep Four for our expansion franchise friends, and will be reduced to Deep Three for the post-1993 installments! Today we's gonna tackle the only remaining franchise representing the Great White North, the Toronto Blue Jays! Let's have ourselves a look-see:

PC1B2B3BSSLFCFRF
1stRoy HalladayErnie WhittCarlos DelgadoRoberto AlomarKelly GruberTony FernandezGeorge BellDevon WhiteJose Bautista
2ndDave StiebGregg ZaunFred McGriffAaron HillRance MulliniksAlex GonzalezShannon StewartVernon WellsJesse Barfield
3rdPat HentgenDarrin FletcherJohn OlerudOrlando HudsonBrett LawrieJose ReyesReed JohnsonLloyd MosebyAlex Rios
4thJimmy KeyPat BordersWillie UpshawDamaso GarciaRoy HowellAlfredo GriffinAl WoodsJose CruzShawn Green


It was surprising to me how deep some of these positions turned out to be for only forty years of history. Right field was so strong that franchise legend Joe Carter just missed the cut. First base, center field, and pitcher were darn good too.

Josh Donaldson has an MVP under his belt and is having another monster year, but without the requisite three seasons in Toronto, he doesn't yet qualify for the list. I have a feeling he'll be somewhere in the next edition.

The guys on the 4th Team at left field and shortstop were selected more on longevity than anything else. Those positions don't have a ton of depth. No harm in giving some love to the guys who spent a lot of time there, even if they weren't that good.