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.

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:

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.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Mariners Franchise Deep Four

Now in their 40th season, naming the top four players at each position is a bit tough for the Mariners. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try, so here it goes:

1stFelix HernandezDan WilsonJohn OlerudBret BooneEdgar MartinezAlex RodriguezPhil BradleyKen Griffey Jr.Ichiro Suzuki
2ndRandy JohnsonDave ValleAlvin DavisRobinson CanoAdrian BeltreOmar VizquelRaul IbanezMike CameronJay Buhner
3rdJamie MoyerKenji JohjimaTino MartinezHarold ReynoldsKyle SeagerBrendan RyanGreg BrileyFranklin GutierrezLeon Roberts
4thMark LangstonBob StinsonBruce BochteJulio CruzJim PresleyCarlos GuillenHenry CottoRuppert JonesAl Cowens

Pitcher was a really good position for the M's. Their top guy is a potential Hall of Famer, and their 2nd Team guy is already there. Jamie Moyer had a good long career, though he falls just short of the Hall of Fame standard. Freddy Garcia and Erik Hanson were pretty close to Mark Langston for the 4th Team spot.

Center field, second base, and third base were all pretty strong positions. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager are both potential 1st Teamers if they keep producing. The fans in Seattle should be excited about those guys. Edgar Martinez was better known as a DH, but I'm glad that for now the Mariner icon is deserving of the 1st Team spot at the hot corner.

The two corner outfield positions have two strong players on the first two teams and slim pickings after that. Left field especially was like grasping at straws. Yikes.

Catcher would have to be the weakest position here. Nothing against Dan Wilson, but if he's your greatest catcher of all time, you need to work on that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Royals Franchise Deep Four

Of the four 1969 expansion franchises, I've saved the most successful for last. Let's see how strong their all-time teams look.

1stBret SaberhagenSalvador PerezJohn MayberryFrank WhiteGeorge BrettFreddie PatekWillie WilsonAmos OtisDanny Tartabull
2ndKevin AppierDarrell PorterMike SweeneyMark GrudzielanekKevin SeitzerRey SanchezAlex GordonCarlos BeltranAl Cowens
3rdMark GubiczaMike MacfarlaneEric HosmerCookie RojasJoe RandaAlcides EscobarLou PiniellaLorenzo CainJermaine Dye
4thZack GreinkeJohn WathanWally JoynerCarlos FeblesMike MoustakasU.L. WashingtonBo JacksonJohnny DamonJeff Francoeur

Some of the guys on the first team were far and away the best choices; White, Brett, and Patek all blew away their closest competition. Who would've thought that Mark Grudzielanek and Rey Sanchez would make the 2nd Team?

Corner outfield was a bit tricky, as often is the case. Their right fielders weren't the deepest group, for instance. I only chose Jeff Francoeur for the 4th Team based on one good season that was better than anything any of the other candidates had done, despite spending the rest of his Royals tenure adding negative value. David DeJesus might've been a better choice in left field than either Piniella or Jackson, but he seemed to fit better in center field, where he ended up just missing the cut. If I were doing a 5th Team for the Royals, DeJesus would definitely be there, yes sirree.

Salvador Perez and Darrell Porter are currently pretty close, but I decided to give it to Perez since he's having a great season so far, and if he keeps it up, he should find himself well ahead of Porter by the end of it. And besides, he's already a Kansas City folk hero. Of the young Royals crop currently defending their World Series title, he's the only one who's made it to the 1st Team. Truly a feather in his backward catcher's helmet.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Brewers Franchise Deep Four

Checking off those 1969 newcomers, we're now on the once-American League expansion franchise Seattle Pilots, who are now the National League Central's Milwaukee Brewers.

1stTeddy HigueraJonathan LucroyCecil CooperRickie WeeksPaul MolitorRobin YountRyan BraunGorman ThomasSixto Lezcano
2ndBen SheetsDarrell PorterGeorge ScottJim GantnerJeff CirilloJose ValentinBen OglivieCarlos GomezJeromy Burnitz
3rdChris BosioB.J. SurhoffPrince FielderRonnie BelliardDon MoneyJ.J.HardyGeoff JenkinsDave MayCorey Hart
4thMike CaldwellTed SimmonsRichie SexsonFernando VinaSal BandoPat ListachGreg VaughnMarquis GrissomRob Deer

Interestingly, there's no position that stands out here as being particularly strong. The Brewers have had a pretty mediocre history. But at least Brewer fans can currently appreciate watching the greatest catcher and left fielder in franchise history while they're still around.