Tagged: Hunter Pence

The Big Puma Goes To The Big Apple

*Sorry I forgot to post this a few days ago.

After 1,648 hits, 326 home runs,
1,090 runs batted in, 1,592 games, and parts of twelve seasons, Lance “The Big
Puma” Berkman is leaving Houston to play with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez,
Mariano Rivera and the rest of the New York Yankees in the Big Apple.

It’s a bittersweet day in Houston.
On one side, the team is starting over and getting younger. On the other side,
you are losing a franchise player who played his college career (with the Rice
Owls) and pro career in Houston. Berkman has given the city of Houston so many
memories, good ones and bad ones.

Personally, I have two distinct
memories about Lance Berkman. The first autographed baseball I ever got was
Lance Berkman’s on my ninth birthday. However, In spring training of 2008,
while I was trying to get autographs, he went off the field, in a golf cart,
into the clubhouse, (the Astros clubhouse at their spring training park,
Osceola County Stadium, is on the other side of the left field fence) totally
ignoring the fans.

That day, Miguel Tejada, Jose
Valverde, Hunter Pence, and Wesley Wright, among others came a signed for the
me and the rest of the fans. I understand that fans do get a little crazy
sometimes. Ex-Astro Roy Oswalt use to only sign to small groups of fans while
with the Astros but spring training is different. Which, I understand.

Anyway, it has been a gradual
decline in power since 2006 when “Fat Elvis” hit 45 home runs. Since then, he
has hit 34, 29, 25 and 13 (in 85 games this year). And with the exception of
2008 when he drove in 106 runs his RBI totals have gone done every year since
2006 when he had 136 of them.

Now, I expect his power numbers to
increase with the dimensions of Yankees stadium and not having to face Josh
Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Hallady, or Mat Latos (who has a 0.99 WHIP) along
with the rest of the National League pitchers. However, the one thing that
could make his disappointing season even more disappointing would be if he
can’t play ball in the spotlight of New York City.

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Fantasy Baseball- Outfielders- Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates a 8-5 win with Manny Ramirez #99 and Andre Ethier #16 over the San Diego Padres after the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers would win 8-5.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Even though Andre Ethier has proven that he can hit for power, contact, and in the clutch many fantasy baseball owners don’t pay serious consideration when it comes to drafting Andre. Why? Well he shares and outfield with Manny who will always be Manny and Matt Kemp who has become a superstar since he started dating singer, Rihanna. Yet, Andre is the best player out of those three.
Andre Ethier is one of the rare types of players I call a “six tool” player. Andre is fast, has a good arm, is a great fielder, can it for power and contact, and can hit in the clutch. When players hit in the clutch that generally means they will get a few extra home runs and or RBIs. 
Fantasy wise though you get a .290 average, 100 runs, 100 RBIs, 30-35 home runs, 5-7 stolen bases, and an OBP of .375 ish. With Andre you will not get the number of stolen bases other guys could probably get with his speed because he is not the best base stealer. However, just like Ellsbury, Andre can still turn a double into a single any day of the week.
Andre is one of the safest bets out there. His numbers have all gone up with the exception of OBP and SLG, since his rookie year. Matt Kemp is a little bit riskier as some analysts think he might let the fame go to his head. Manny, well . . . he is probably one of the most risky outfielders to draft. However, Manny is a high risk- high reward type player. 
When it comes to Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, and Hunter Pence (who will be talked about in a little) all three are very risky. All three of them need to prove they are not “one year wonders,” and Hamilton, so far has not done the best job with that.
Andre Ethier
Ok so you might not be so sold yet on Andre. Well are you sold on Nelson CruzJosh Hamilton, or Hunter Pence? Ok you probably aren’t but just pretend you are. Andre Ethier is A LOT better then them. While Cruz and Pence are five tool players just like Ethier is classified as, Hamilton is not the fastest guy but has more pop in his bat obviously meaning he is not a five tool player.
I mean, the stats prove that Ethier is obviously better then Cruz, Hamilton, and Pence but because Hamilton, Cruz, and Pence are more well know Ethier will most likely get overlooked for the third straight year. But there is not way he should I mean, just look at what MLB predicts the stats for Either, Cruz, Hamilton, and Pence will look like.
                  AVG          R          HR          RBIs          SB          OBP          SLG      OPS
Ethier         .289           92         27            101            5            .377          .501        .878
Cruz           .272           88         35             96            22           .345          .533        .878
Hamilton     .291           77         25             92            10           .356          .504        .860
Pence         .297           88        28              87            14           .357          .493       .850
So actually Ethier is tied with Cruz followed by Pence. But when you compare only Ethier’s and Cruz’s projected stats Ethier is the winner.
                  AVG          R          HR          RBIs          SB          OBP          SLG      OPS
Ethier         .289           92         27            101            5            .377          .501        .878
Cruz           .272           88         35             96          
 22           .345          .533        .878

Ethier wins four categories plus the tie in OPS while Cruz wins three plus the tie in OPS. Another thing to take not of is that most leagues do not use OBP, SLG, or OPS. Meaning that Ethier would win three categories to two if you don’t factor in OBP, SLG, or OPS.
Andre will not be in your draft in the seventh round so I would plan on trying to get him with a late fourth pick to a late sixth round pick. I would tell you my plans to get him but well, I do not want anyone knowing my plans this year.
Ethier is a safe bet who has no injury history and will get more pitches to hit with Manny and Matt Kemp on a balanced team who will most likely win the National League West again.
Photo Credits

I’m Back . . . . . Again!

* I have been working on this entry this whole week and have been very busy this whole week with baseball camp and other things so the stats are a little messed up*

Man camp was awesome again. It just always seems to go by waaaaaaaay to fast. Anyway I was hoping to make baseball all-stars and made it! Along with basketball and archery all-stars. 

Also I have obviously decided to keep blogging just not once a day. I am going to do a week in review plus extra entries for events like the trading deadline and other things.
Anyway well this year the all-star game rosters just seemed different. Why? Well a few players did not deserve it.  Which players did not, and which players should have been there? Well you’ll find out!
The voters, players, and managers got it right mostly in the American League. But there where still a lot of mess ups. For example Chone Figgins only made the team after Evan Longoria pulled himself out due to an infected ring finger. And while at the time Figgins lead the league in runs scored and was tied for the league lead in triples with seven. In an unbiased opinion Mike Lowell might have been better choices. However Figgins and Lowell are three very different players. Also at the time of the all-star game Lowell had not played in an MLB game since June 27th. 
And even though Figgins has played more games then Lowell even if the had played the same amount of games the only stats Lowell would lead in would probably be doubles, home runs, RBIs, intentional base on balls, slugging percentage, and maybe if he got on a tear total bases. However Lowell is more of a veteran which might have calmed some players emotions. Figgins though has been in the league since 2002 only four less seasons then Lowell.
chone_figgins1
Now if I was Joe Maddon I would have picked Figgins. Because he of the fact that the American League team only has about six speedsters besides Figgins. Of corse some people do not consider Derek Jeter, Jason Bartlett, and Ben Zobrist speedsters even though they have a combined total of 47 stolen bases.
Brandon Inge is a question mark. He hit in the home run derby despite having just 21 home runs (tied for fifth in the American League). He won the all-star final vote becoming the first Tiger to do so. Of the five players on the American League ballot three ended up making the team. Yet Ian Kinsler who was ahead of Dustin Pedroia for most of the voting did not make it despite having more runs, hits, total bases, doubles, triples, walks, and less strikeouts.
 
Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge
Inge is a better fielder and has a higher batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and a higher on base plus slugging percentage. Inge is also a candidate for comeback player of the year which might have given him some what of an edge. 
This vote could have gone either way. Heck Blue Jays left fielder/DH Adam Lind could have won  it. But what it came down to between Kinsler and Inge was the popularity vote. The Tigers have more of a fan base then the Rangers even though the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington area is a larger city then Detroit. The Dallas area is a football town and well Detroit does not have much to root for with the 0 and 16 Lions. That is the sad part about sports these days. Most of the time the teams with the larger fan bases tend to have their players win more honors. 

Hunter%20Pence.jpg

In the National League well lets just say there where a lot of players deserving to be in St. Louis that did not get to go. Hunter Pence of the Houston Astros is a five tool player. Yet another five tool player should have been there instead of Pence. That player is Dodgers right fielder, Andre Ethier. Ethier has more runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks, intentional base on balls, and a higher slugging percentage then Pence. Both have nearly the exact same stats though. For example they have the same number of total base and have played in the same amount of games.
Yet their teams are very different. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball while the Astros are trying for a second half push yet again. But think about it this way look what the Dodgers and particularly Ethier has overcome this year. Remember last year when Manny came over and Ethier exploded? Remember this year at the start of Manny’s suspension when Ethier went into a slump. Well yah look at him now.
The fact that Pence made the all-star game and Ethier did not is a joke. There is no doubt that Pence is a good player and very similar to Ethier but look at it this way. For Pence he has Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Ivan Rodriguez to drive him in which would give him more runs. Ethier has James Loney and Matt Kemp to drive him in. Obviously Pence has the advantage. Pence also gets some added RBIs with speedster Michael Born to score. So instead of having Casey Blake stop at third Pence would get an RBI.
Okay still do not think it matters a lot. Okay well look at it this way. In the Astros versus Dodgers game today through the bottom of the eight with no outs and Ethier on first Pence has gone one for four. Ethier is three for four. Yes it is just one game but lets look at it one more way.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball yet only had three all-stars and Jonathan Broxton is hurt. The Astros are just now playing good. I mean all the facts are there Ethier is having a better season the Pence and deserves to be there. He probably would be there to if it was not for Manny “stealing” his votes even though Ethier probably would not have started.
Two players on the same team probably would not have made it if it was not for Cole Hamels. Shane Victorino and Jason Werth should be thank Hamels today. Victorino won the National League all-star final vote and Werth made the team as Carlos Beltran’s replacement. Yet both got lucky. Ethier could have had either of their spots and so could have Matt Kemp or Mike Cameron, and maybe Carlos Lee, Michael Born, and or Adam Dunn. 
Look at the stats as of Jul 22. . .
                AVG.   HR   RBI    R    H    SO   SB    OBP    2B    3B      Errors       F. %tage 
Werth       .266     21      61    63   88   88    12     .378     15       1           0          1.000%
Victorino  .307       6      43    67  115   43   15     .374     25       6           1           .995%     
Ethier       .257      19      58    52   88    71     4     .341     19       1           3           .982%
Kemp       .323      13      55    55  110   81    20     .390     12       6           2          .992%
Cameron   .260     14      43    44    82   87     4      .366     19       2           3          .988%
Lee           .307     15      57    40  107   30     3      .357     17       1           2          .984%
Born         .285       3      26    62  101   79    35      .357      17      8          1           .995%
Dunn        .268      24     65    45    87   106    0      .401      17      0           7          .950%
So based on my formulas Victorino should have made it but Werth should not have. Matt Kemp should have. Here are the rankings . . .
1. Victorino 
2. Kemp
3. Werth
4. Born
5. Lee
6. Ethier
7. Dunn
8. Cameron
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino is congratulated by right fielder Jayson Werth after making a leaping catch at the wall to rob Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake of an extra-base hit with two men on and two outs in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the NLCS on Friday night in Philadelphia.
The last player who should not have made it was the replacement to Matt Cain, Zach Duke. How does a player who has a losing record at the break (8-9) make the all-star team! His ERA at the break was 3.38 which is good but when your team even though they stink has a great defense not to mention a speedy outfield that could be a little lower.
So lets say the fact that Duke’s ERA was the reason he made the team. As of July 26th his ERA was 3.42, .04 higher then at the break. As of July 26th fourteen players in the National League had a lower ERA then Duke, ten of those players did not make the all-star team including Javier Vazquez.
Duke had eight wins and as of July 26th he has nine wins. As of the 26th eighteen players have more or the same amount of wins as Duke. Of those eighteen players eleven of those players did not make the all-star game including Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, and Yovani Gallardo.
Duke also had 70 strikeouts at the break today he has 74. Lets just say he did not make it because of his strikeouts. There are 37 players with more strikeouts and of those players 31 did not make the team. 
So just a few players who could have taken his spot? Well Adam Wainwright, Wandy Rodriguez, Yovani Gallardo, and Jair Jurrjens all had the same or better stats in ERA, strikeouts, and strikeouts. So even though I do not think they deserved it congrats to all the all-stars. 
Photo Credits
1- gohalos.com
2- news.bbc.co.uk.com
3- blog.kir.com
4- bostonsports.mlblogs.com
5- baltimoresun.com
6- mlb.com

The Roster Game- Outfielders

First- The Boston celtics are on an 19 game winning streak! Setting a ton of records a long the way.

Second- When you write your entries is any one else having problems going to the dash board page?
Third- Merry Christmas Eve!
Fourth- I’m going to publish an entry about Teixeira signing with the Yankees, today. 😦
Fifth- Where do you think Manny will sign. I think it will be with the Dodgers very cheap, maybe 2 years $35 million.
Now back to the roster game
Left Field
Ryan Braun– .285,37 Home Runs, 106 RBI’s, 14 Stolen Bases, $ 455,000
player



Braun was rookie of the year in 2007 along with Peedie. He was an important part in getting the Brewers into the playoffs. He hits for power and brings in runs, along with being kind of fast. I’ve seen Braun play once, when I was visiting family in Milwaukee, and well he is good. he was 4 for 4 with a homer, a double and two singles. I still think he should have won N.L. MVP.

Honorable Mention 

player

Josh Willingham

Center Field

Grady Sizemore– .268, 33 Home Runs, 90 RBI’s, 38 Stolen Bases, $3,166,666

player

Sizemore is one of the best players in the game. He has great defense along with a great bat and speed. He won a Silver Slugger and a Golden Glove for outfielders this year. Sizemore was another example of a great player playing for a bad team. Sizemore will also play for team U.S.A. in the World Baseball Classic.

Honorable Mention 

Vernon Wells

player
Right Field

Josh Hamilton- .304, 32 Home Runs, 130 RBI’s, 9 Stolen Bases, $396,830

player

With flames running down his arms walking up to the batters box in Yankee Stadium, you just knew something was going to happen. I know he is plays center but he can play right great. I don’t think there was a better fell good story in baseball other then maybe Lester or Baldelli. Recovering from drugs and being an all-star. He wore out down the stretch though but he had never played that many games in his life.

Honorable Mention 

Hunter Pence

player

Pay roll for today- $4,018,496

Tota
l Pay roll so far- $16,202,162

* Note- If they are on the bench they are not going to be honorable mention