November 20, 2017

MLB Predictions Middle of August Update

Overall this MLB season has been pretty much what we expected entering the final 45 days of the year. There were a couple of pre-All Star Game surprises like the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians, but overall things have been pretty cut and dry.

Heading into the last few weeks of the year there are still 4 of 6 Divisions with winners still in doubt.  Philly with the best record in MLB is 7 games ahead of Atlanta who is 6 games ahead of 2010 World Series Champs San Fran in the Wild Card race. Today the Arizona Diamondbacks have a 69-53 record and have won their last 7 including beating Roy Halladay in the 9th.  

Back in March my playoffs predictions included Oakland and Colorado which are both done, but the others are still solid contenders. My MVP’s are alive as both Ryan Braun and Robinson Cano are tearing it up.  As we gear up for football don’t forget the chase for the ultimate prize in October.

2011 Pre-Season Predictions

NL East: Atlanta

NL Central: Milwaukee

NL West: Colorado

NL Wild Card: Philadelphia

NL Pennant Winner: Colorado

NL MVP – Ryan Braun, NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

AL East: Boston

AL Central: Detroit

AL West: LA Angels

AL Wild Card: Oakland

AL Pennant Winner: Boston

AL MVP – Robinson Cano, AL Cy Young – Jon Lester

World Series Winner: Boston

BREAKING NEWS! Yanks Get Strasburg…Umm Not

The MLB Draft is today and the foregone conclusion is that the Nationals will use the first overall pick on Stephen Strasburg. Most years, there is a consensus overall top pick so one might think that with the 44 years of the draft there would be several Hall of Famers go as the first overall pick, but that isn’t the case. Until Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones retire and wait five years, we will not have one single player with that distinction to date. Speaking of distinctio, Chipper Jones was the quickest #1 Overall Pick to make it to the World Series (5 years) and then surpassed last year by Tampa Bay’s 2007 #1 pick David Price.

steven_strasburg09On the other side of the coin, some people think that the first overall pick has turned out to be a bust just as often as not, but is it fair to consider someone like Tim Foli or Bill Almon, who played 15 and 16 years in the majors, respectively, busts? Teams usually end up getting a solid major league player at the top slot of the draft, even if they do not always end up landing the “best” player.

Strasburg is widely believed to be the most outstanding amateur pitching prospect in history. Videos and eyewitness accounts reveal a right-hander throwing 103-mph fastballs and unhittable curves. He’s the real thing, no question; some of the quotes from veteran scouts are so outrageously giddy, it sounds as if they just returned from Mars. That being said, he isn’t worth $10 million any more than any other player in the history of the draft because he hasn’t done anything in the bigs.  The only problem is that with Scott Boras as his agent he will be asking for $50 million and will Washington even be able to sign him? What? Cant Washington trade the pick? Nope! Even a prospect like Strasburg is not without risk, and the Nationals could be sinking a lot of money into a failed investment.  They cannot even draft and trade him, as teams must wait one year to trade any player they have drafted.  Is this the ideal situation for the Nationals? Of course not.  I think the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox would give the Nats a king’s ransom for the right to draft Strasburg.  This package of prospects would help the Nationals rebuild their 21st ranked farm system, and would also make sense financially.

Baseball would benefit from the increased exposure of the new draft.  The Canadian media is having a field day penning articles regarding whether or not the Toronto Maple Leafs will be able to pry the second overall pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning in order to draft Ontario Hockey League superstar John Tavares.  The same would happen in baseball.

It would also give small-budget teams the opportunity to make educated decisions regarding what is best for their franchise.  They could make a trade to benefit their team now or build the farm system, rather than being forced to draft a top talent that they have to make an immediate multi-millionaire.

The Draft needs to be refined as well as provide a cap ala the NBA as this can only get out of hand moving forward.

Here are the Top 10 Worst Draft Picks:

10. Paul Wilson  – dogged by shoulder and elbow injuries that robbed him of most of his career

9. Matt Anderson – could throw 100 mph, ended up tearing a muscle in his throwing arm when he participated in an octopus throwing contest at Comerica Park

8. Shawn Abner – 1984 U.S. Olympic team finished with a lifetime .227 avg

7. Danny Goodwin – In 1971 turned down $60K to go to Southern Univ again the #1 in ’75 and blew his arm out as a catcher never hit in the pros

107x150-images-stories-danny-goodwin6. Bryan Bullington – the top overall pick in the 2002 draft to Pitt currently sits with an 0-5 record with a 5.08 ERA in 13 games

5. Al Chambers – Signed for $60,000 as a cant miss power hitter.. but played only 57 games in parts of three seasons, amassed just two home runs and a .208 average in 120 at-bats.

4. David Clyde – this story is a beauty… his senior year in high school, he went 18-0 with 14 shutouts and he established a high school record with 328 strikeouts. He was the first HS pitcher drafted with the first overall pick when the Rangers took him in 1973. Just 19 days after graduating high school, he was pitching in the majors. Clyde won his first start, became a gate attraction for the struggling Rangers (just two years after the move from Washington) and Texas kept him in the majors even though he was not ready. The following year, Billy Martin replaced Whitey Herzog as the team’s manager and he thought Clyde belonged in the minors. When the front office refused to ship him out, Clyde went 31 days without not only pitching in a game, but even warming up on the sidelines. Clyde lost his curveball, ended up having two shoulder surgeries and had problems with alcohol. He finished his career in the majors with an 18-33 mark with a 4.63 ERA.

3. Brien Taylor – Good ol’ Brien with an ‘E’ from Beaufort, North Carolina..#1 pick in 1991 and while in AA ball with a 13-7 record got into a fight after his older brother got roughed up and wrecked his shoulder. BTW Manny was the 13th pick.

2. Steve Chilcott – Mets took him over Reggie Jackson and signed for a $75,000 bonus. Chilcott never made the majors

1. Matt Bush – No relation to the ex prezes – he received a hefty $3,150,000 bonus. Bush was suspended by the Padres before he even played a game for an altercation outside a club. He hit poorly for two seasons, broke an ankle, converted to pitching, injured his elbow, got into alcohol-related trouble, was dealt to Toronto and finally was released this year before the season for violating the Blue Jays’ zero tolerance behavior policy. Best first-round picks that season: Justin Verlander (2nd), Jered Weaver (12th), Stephen Drew (15th).

I had no idea…

Does anyone remember the young man who was traded from one minor league team to another last year for some baseball bats? At the time it seemed like quite the joke or maybe just a publicity stunt by the minor league teams. Whatever the case it definitely gained national exposure for John Odom who was the pitcher involved in the trade. I can vividly remember his interivew on PTI where on the outside he seemed to be trying to play it off, but something didn’t quite seem right with him overall throughout the interview. It seems the trade could have had an impact on him because late last year he had a drug overdose and died. No one knows for sure if this is what lead him down a destructive path, but one would have to think it certainly didn’t help. Check out the full ESPN article below. So sad!

The John Odom story

Minor League Manager Ejection

If you haven’t seen the hilarious video clip of Mississippi Braves manager going nuts from Friday June 1st then you are really missing out. My favorite part is him sliding on his belly and then taking the rosin bag and throwing it at the umpire like it was a grenade. This is one of the best ever!

Asheville Tourists Manager Goes Ape Sh#t

Asheville Tourists managerMinor league manager Joe Mikulik of the Asheville Tourists went off the deep end last night in a Class-A matchup with the Lexington Legends in Lexington Kentucky. Later Mikulik said the umpires had this coming for quite some time and he just couldn’t put up with their calls anymore. Check the link below to see the meltdown in action. This guy is a fireball to the say the very least.

Clip: Asheville Tourists Manager

Delmon Young Receives Sentence

Delmon Young
Tampa Bay Devil Rays stunning prospect received notification his suspension will be for 50 games due to him throwing a bat at an umpire in a minor league baseball game. Delmon the brother of MLB player Dmitri Young was the first pick by the Tampa Devil Rays in 2003 and last year was named minor league player of the year by Baseball America. Delmon Young felt his suspension retroactive back to April 27th was fair and that he will make sure and focus on keeping his cool moving forward. Delmon I would think it’s fair too because I truly felt when I first saw the incident you were gone for the year.