Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Pirates Franchise Deep Six

Another Deep Six! This time with the team from Pittsburgh!

1stBabe AdamsJason KendallJake BeckleyBill MazeroskiPie TraynorHonus WagnerBarry BondsMax CareyRoberto Clemente
2ndWilbur CooperManny SanguillenElbie FletcherClaude RitcheyTommy LeachArky VaughanRalph KinerAndrew McCutchenPaul Waner
3rdSam LeeverTony PenaGus SuhrJohnny RayRichie HebnerGene AlleyFred ClarkeAndy Van SlykeDave Parker
4thBob FriendGeorge GibsonDonn ClendenonNeil WalkerDon HoakJay BellWillie StargellGinger BeaumontOrlando Merced
5thJesse TannehillSmoky BurgessGeorge GranthamRennie StennettBill MadlockDick GroatMike SmithMatty AlouBill Hinchman
6thJohn CandelariaJim PagliaroniBob RobertsonPhil GarnerBobby BonillaJack WilsonBob SkinnerJake StenzelChief Wilson

This is an interesting one. At certain positions they're incredibly deep (left field, center field), at others they're surprisingly shallow (pitcher, first base) and others have steep dropoffs (shortstop, right field).

Al Oliver, Bill Virdon and Lloyd Waner were all fine players who were eligible in center field, but the Pirates had so much strength there that even their longevity couldn't get them onto the list. At least, that was how I felt when I put the list together. Maybe on a different day they'd have made the cut. Andrew McCutchen could potentially overtake Carey if 2015 is another superb season for him. It was actually a pretty close call.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Cardinals Franchise Deep Six

Another Deep Six! This time for the Cardinals!

1stBob GibsonTed SimmonsAlbert PujolsRogers HornsbyKen BoyerOzzie SmithJoe MedwickJim EdmondsStan Musial
2ndDizzy DeanYadier MolinaJohnny MizeFrankie FrischScott RolenMarty MarionLou BrockCurt FloodEnos Slaughter
3rdAdam WainwrightTim McCarverKeith HernandezRed SchoendienstWhitey KurowskiSolly HemusJesse BurkettRay LankfordBrian Jordan
4thHarry BrecheenDarrell PorterEd KonetchyMiller HugginsArlie LathamBobby WallaceTip O'NeillWillie McGeeJ.D. Drew
5thChris CarpenterWalker CooperBill WhiteTom HerrTerry PendletonGarry TempletonMatt HollidayTerry MooreGeorge Hendrick
6thSilver KingTom PagnozziJim BottomleyYank RobinsonMike MowreyEdgar RenteriaChick HafeyBake McBrideTommy McCarthy

The Cardinals are remarkably deep at some positions and remarkably shallow at others.  You'll notice Mark McGwire isn't anywhere to be found in the first base column, despite his monster seasons in the late 90's. It wasn't a steroid deduction, it was for a lack of longevity.

At catcher, there was a big dropoff after McCarver. All the candidates for that spot on the 6th Team were pretty mediocre, so I just went with Pagnozzi, mainly for his longevity.

Bake McBride is the center fielder for the Sixth Team, but it was pretty much a tossup between him and Jon Jay. (Yes, Jon Jay. Really.) If Jay has a good season this year, it might be enough to bump McBride off the list.

Some people might quibble with the choice of Stan Musial being listed as a right fielder. After all, he played more games at both first base and left field during his career. However, if I were judging him purely at those positions, he might have been edged out by Medwick or Pujols. He had a lot of his biggest seasons playing primarily right field, and as the greatest Cardinal of them all, he deserved to be somewhere on the First Team. Right field just made the most sense, even if the guy on the Second Team was a longtime teammate of his.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Five Takeaways From The First Month Of The MLB Season (Sponsored Post)

In a six month season, consistency is the ultimate key. That is why a lot of people aren’t going to be completely sold on all trends after one month. People who play daily fantasy mlb like what they see out of certain players and teams early on this year. Here is a look at 5 trends that should be able to continue as the season progresses.

Chicago Cubs Are Here To Stay

At the beginning of the year, the Chicago Cubs certainly received quite a bit of attention. Not only did they go out and sign some new guys including ace Jon Lester, but their young talent caught headlines for all the right reasons. One month into the season, and they seem to be going in the right direction. Kris Bryant looks like a future All-Star, and Addison Russell could be joining him as well. Those 2 players could be the future of the left side of the infield for the Chicago Cubs in the next decade.

The Astros Might Just Be Too

Most people aren’t completely sold on the Houston Astros, but they have one of the best records in the American League right now. Like the Chicago Cubs, they focused on building up their farm system during some down years. They are probably a little bit ahead of schedule, and that is why they are the most likely of the 2 teams to fade. However, the days of laughing at Houston are over, and they should be at least respectable by the end of the season.

Alex Rodriguez Has Something Left In The Tank

Any professional athlete closing in on 40 years of age knows that they are playing with borrowed time. Expectations were rather low for Rodriguez going into the season, but he has been one of the more consistent hitters for the surprising New York Yankees. Injury issues are always going to be a bit of a scare, but getting a chance to play at designated hitter keeps him fresh.

Jeurys Familia Is The Closer The Mets Need

Staying in New York City, the New York Mets have also been very surprising so far this year. While many people predicted that they would be counting on pitching quite a bit, few could have seen the hot start coming from Jeurys Familia. He has stepped in nicely to be the closer for the franchise, and the movement on his pitches should keep him sharp throughout the year.

Mike Trout Is Still The Best

There are certainly a lot of crazy statistics after just one month of baseball, but anyone who plays in daily fantasy mlb knows that Mike Trout is certainly not riding a hot streak. In fact, he is just right back to performing at a high level. So far this year, he is hitting well above .300 while up to 6 home runs and 6 stolen bases already. Easy math would show anyone that he very well could finish with 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases and right around 100 RBI in 2015. That would be crazy to think about for most players, but it is just another MVP performance from the best player in the game.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Yankees Franchise Deep Six

A few days ago I put up the first post in this series for the Braves, and now it's time for the redone version of the Yankees' all-time positional depth chart that I mentioned.

1stWhitey FordYogi BerraLou GehrigRobinson CanoAlex RodriguezDerek JeterCharlie KellerMickey MantleBabe Ruth
2ndRed RuffingBill DickeyDon MattinglyJoe GordonGraig NettlesPhil RizzutoRoy WhiteJoe DiMaggioTommy Henrich
3rdRon GuidryThurman MunsonBill SkowronWillie RandolphHome Run BakerRoger PeckinpaughBrett GardnerEarle CombsRoger Maris
4thLefty GomezJorge PosadaJason GiambiTony LazzeriWade BoggsKid ElberfeldHideki MatsuiBernie WilliamsHank Bauer
5thBob ShawkeyElston HowardWally PippGil McDougaldRed RolfeBucky DentGene WoodlingRickey HendersonDave Winfield
6thMike MussinaMike StanleyMark TeixeiraSnuffy StirnweissClete BoyerTony KubekBob MeuselBobby MurcerReggie Jackson

The pitchers I could probably change around depending on what mood I'm in, but I'm fairly confident in my rankings for the other positions. Some of you might be surprised not to see Andy Pettitte here, given how many years he spent with the Yankees, but I felt he didn't have enough peak value.

The toughest choice was at second base. I originally had Joe Gordon on the 1st Team, but I went with Cano after considering his peak value and longevity. Gordon unfortunately lost two prime years to the war which might have given him the edge. It is a bit hard to believe at first that three quarters of the 2009 Yankees' infield consisted of their best ever players at the position, but it's quite believable after looking at the data.

I was a bit surprised at how weak left field was. If I could count players at multiple positions, Babe Ruth would probably be their best left fielder, but he played more games in right field, so that's where I put him.

The 6th Team here isn't too shabby. Whenever I finish this project, I might try to see which franchise has the best 6th Team. The Yankees seem like they'd be the obvious choice, but perhaps we'll be surprised.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Braves Franchise Deep Six

A few years ago I got the idea of making all-time franchise depth charts. I started with the Yankees and got six players deep at each position before I didn't feel like going further. It was fun, but for whatever reason (probably my usual lack of focus) I didn't do them for any other franchises.

I've decided to try again. If I have the drive to stick with it, I plan to create all-time teams for each franchise. There'll be the 1st Team, as well as the 2nd Team, all the way to the 6th. (Sometimes you're splitting hairs even before you get to the 6th.) I'll then post them here in chart form for easy reading. And since it's been a few years since I made my Yankees depth chart, I'm going to redo that one.

To determine rankings, I plan to take into account not just raw numbers, but longevity and peak value, meaning these lists will be subjective enough to encourage debate (should anyone but me and my few loyal readers ever see them). I also have a few other rules to note:

1. A player can only count at one position for a franchise. He can't be both the left fielder on the 1st Team and the right fielder on the 4th Team, he's got to be ranked at only one position. I want to see a variety of players, not the same guys over and over. Maybe you'd disagree, but hey, it's my project.

2. I'm only counting starting pitchers at the pitcher position.

3. A player must have played at least three seasons for the franchise at a position to qualify for the depth chart. Rogers Hornsby was with the Boston Braves in 1928, and as he was still in his prime, he put up perhaps the greatest season ever for a Braves second baseman. However, it was also his only season with the Braves franchise, so it wouldn't feel right to rank him on their depth chart.

On the subject of the Braves, they're the first team I've finished for this project, so I thought I'd share it here as my monthly post:

1stKid NicholsJoe TorreFred TenneyBobby LoweEddie MathewsJohnny LoganRico CartyAndruw JonesHank Aaron
2ndGreg MadduxDel CrandallJoe AdcockGlenn HubbardChipper JonesRabbit MaranvilleSid GordonWally BergerJason Heyward
3rdWarren SpahnBrian McCannEarl TorgesonTony CuccinelloBob ElliottRafael FurcalLonnie SmithDale MurphyDavid Justice
4thPhil NiekroJavy LopezJohn MorrillMarcus GilesDarrell EvansHerman LongRalph GarrBilly HamiltonTommy Holmes
5thTom GlavineHank GowdyFelipe AlouFelix MillanJimmy CollinsAndrelton SimmonsRyan KleskoHugh DuffyChick Stahl
6thJohn SmoltzPhil MasiFreddie FreemanJack BurdockBilly NashJeff BlauserJoe ConnollyJim O'RourkeGene Moore

It's interesting to see that a franchise as historical as the Braves is fairly weak at first base, second base and left field. Especially second base. Glenn Hubbard sticks out like a sore thumb on that 2nd Team. Why couldn't they have kept Rajah around a bit longer? At pitcher, third base and center field though, they're especially strong.

Perhaps some of you think it's too early to have Freddie Freeman or Andrelton Simmons on these charts. All I can say is that first base is weak enough for Freeman to make it, and Simmons has been great enough in his young career that I feel confident about his place here. I could easily see both of them working their way up to higher teams in future editions of these depth charts.

I hope to have more to share with you next month.