Monday, January 30, 2012

Are the Tigers Cabrera and Fielder the best 3-4 Hitters in baseball?

Last week, the Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine year deal worth over 200 million dollars. The money baseball players get is ridiculous, but the Tigers will have a hell of a lineup now. Fielder will be playing for the team that his father Cecil Fielder played for. They already have Miguel Cabrera, who is probably the best hitter in baseball right now. Cabrera will move from first base to third base to make room for Fielder. The Tigers defense at the corners might not be the greatest, but their bats will be.

There is some other good combos in baseball, but I don't think they match Cabrera/Fielder. The Yankees have Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, The Red Sox have Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and David Ortiz, the Rangers have alot of good hitters, the Cardinals have Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, and Carlos Beltran, the Marlins have Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton, and the Reds have Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Below, are the 162 game averages for Cabrera and Fielder.

               Cabrera          Fielder
BA           .317                .282
OBP        .395                .390
SLG         .555                .540
HR             33                   37
RBI           118                 106

This will likely be one of the best combinations in Detroit Tigers history and could be one of the best combos in baseball history. Thats saying alot for the Tigers franchise, considering the great hitters they've had. They had Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford 100 years ago, and later Cobb and his protege Harry Heilmann(who once hit over .400). They also had Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer in the 30s who led them to three World Series and one championship. In the 50s and 60s, the Tigers had 3000 hit man Al Kaline, but never had a great hitter to pair him with. Norm Cash and Willie Horton were pretty good hitters, but not Hall of Fame caliber hitters. In the 80s, the Tigers had good but not great hitters Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, and Kirk Gibson who led them to the 1984 championship, their last World Series title. And finally, Prince's dad Cecil Fielder had a good run in the early 90s.

The Tigers won 95 games last year and lost in the ALCS. They were 4th in the AL with 787 runs scored, but should challenge for the AL lead now. Besides Cabrera and Fielder, the Tigers have All Stars at catcher(Al Avila) and shortstop(Jhonny Peralta). Austin Jackson is a good defensive center fielder, and Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young are decent hitters. Their pitching is led by MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, who won 24 games last year. Doug Fister pitched well after coming over in a trade from Seattle. Mizzou grad Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and St. Louis native and rookie Jacob Turner fill out the staff. The Tigers also have a really good bullpen with closer Jose Valverde(49 for 49 in save opportunities last year), and setup relievers Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, and Al Alburquerque. I think Detroit will be one of the best teams in baseball this year, and should make a run at the World Series this year.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Top Ten Relief Pitchers

Relievers can often be really good one year and bad the next, so they are a hard position to rate. I'm going to seperate it into two categories; setup relievers and closers. Often times, a reliever in the 7th or 8th inning gets the tough outs instead of the closer, so they are important as well. Not that the last 3 outs are irrelevant, but setup guys come in games with runners on and closers often come in to start the last inning. It takes a different personality to excel in a late inning role, and there's been a few relievers in baseball history as crazy as Eastbound and Down's Kenny Powers. Below are my reliever rankings.

Setup Relievers

10) Luke Gregerson, Padres    Former Cardinal farmhand has 83 holds in 3 seasons
9) Joaquin Benoit, Tigers          Had a 1.34 ERA in 2010, 2.95 in 2011
8) Sergio Romo, Giants            Had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP last year
7) Sean Marshall, Reds            Tough lefty moves from the Cubs to Reds
6) Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers  Single season saves leader now a setup man
5) Eric O'Flaherty, Braves        Had a career year in 2011, gives Braves to tough lefty relievers
4) Tyler Clippard, Nationals     All Star had a 1.83 ERA and 104 Ks in 88 innings
3) David Robertson, Yankees   All Star had a 1.08 ERA and 100 Ks in 66.2 innings
2) Mike Adams, Rangers         Highest ERA in last 3 seasons was 1.76 in 2010
1) Jonny Venters, Braves         2nd straight year with sub-2.00 ERA and more than 90 Ks


10) Joel Hanrahan, Pirates    1.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 40 saves last year
9) JJ Putz, DBacks               2.71 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 45 saves last year
8) Ryan Madson, Reds        Possesses one of the games best changeups
7) Heath Bell, Padres           New Marlin has had 3 straight 40 save seasons
6) Brian Wilson, Giants       The Beard wasn't as feared last year, his ERA was up 1.30 from 2010
5) Jonathon Papelbon, Phillies  New Phillie has 219 career saves
4) John Axford, Brewers      1.95 with 86 Ks and 46 saves in 2011
3) Craig Kimbrel, Braves     NL rookie of the Year led NL with 46 saves
2) Jose Valverde, Tigers      49 for 49 in save opportunities in 2011
1) Mariano Rivera, Yankees  Alltime save leader with 603 and for the postseason with 42

Monday, January 23, 2012

Top Ten Starting Pitchers

This is a picture of new Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish last week when he arrived in Dallas. Notice the shirt he's wearing, it has a pot leaf on it. Darvish claimed he didn't know what it was, and below is a link to the story. It seems to work for Tim Lincecum, so maybe it will for Darvish too. Remember, Lincecum won 2 games against the Rangers in the 2010 World Series. Not sure what team president Nolan Ryan thought about it, but he once was teammates with Tug McGraw. McGraw once answered a reporter's question if he preferred natural grass or artificial turf? McGraw replied "I've never smoked artificial turf".

Darvish dominated the Japanese league, going 76-28 with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP in 5 seasons. For comparison's sake Daisuke Matsuzaka was 108-60 with a 2.95 ERA in 8 seasons in Japan. I'm not sure how good Darvish will be in the majors, but its possible he could be pretty good. Certainly better than Dice-K. The Rockies have also invited 49 year old left hander Jamie Moyer to spring training. I wouldn't think he has anything left, but we'll see. Below are my starting pitching rankings.

Honorable Mention(Just Missed)

Stephen Strasburg, Nats   Fully healthy from Tommy John surgery, first full year in 2012
Jon Lester, Red Sox         Even with chicken and beer, Lester went 15-9, 3.47 ERA
Tim Hudson, Braves          Had another good year, and has 181 career wins now
Dan Haren, Angels            Former Cardinal has won 101 games since Mulder trade
James Shields, Rays           Posted a 2.82 ERA in 2011 after a 5.18 ERA in 2010
Ian Kennedy, DBacks        Tied for the NL lead with 21 wins in 2011
David Price, Rays               Made his second straight All Star team last year
Chris Carpenter, Cardinals  Led the NL in innings last year, now is 9-2 lifetime in postseason play
Josh Johnson, Marlins        Only thing keeping him from elite status is health
Matt Cain, Giants               Scoreless in 21.1 career postseason innings pitched

10) Cole Hamels, Phillies

This was a toss up between him and Matt Cain for the last spot. Hamels had a slightly better year going 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA, 0.99 WHIP in 216 innings pitched. Hamels won both the NLCS and World Series MVP in 2008 and is 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 13 career postseason starts.

9) Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

Missed the entire 2011 season due to Tommy John surgery. Prior to that Wainwright was one of the majors best pitchers winning 39 games in 2 seasons. He was second in CYA voting in 2010 and third in 2009. Has the best curveball in the league, and should be ready for opening day in 2012.

8) Felix Hernandez, Mariners

King Felix wasn't as sharp last year as he was during his Cy Young Award winning 2010 or in 2009 when he won 19 games. Seattle had a historically bad offense last year, and he finished 14-14 with a 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 222 strikeouts in 237.1 innings pitched.

7) CC Sabathia, Yankees

Sabathia is one of the majors most durable pitchers and has thrown over 230 innings the last 5 seasons. Last year CC went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA and struck out 230 batters in 237.1 innings. He also finished in the top five in CYA voting for the fifth time, and did win the 2007 award.

6) Jered Weaver, Angels

In other seasons, Weaver might of won the Cy Young last year but Justin Verlander had a unbelievable season in 2011. Still, Weaver went 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and had 198 strikeouts in 235.2 innings pitched. Weaver made his second straight All Star team in 2011.

5) Tim Lincecum, Giants

Two time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum had another good year in 2011. The Giants didn't give him much run support and he had a 13-14 record, but had a 2.74 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 217 innings pitched. Lincecum has 1127 career strikeouts in 1028 innings pitched.

4) Cliff Lee, Phillies

Lee finished 3rd in the Cy Young Award voting last year, going 17-8 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 232.2 innings pitched. Had his best season since his 2008 Cy Young winning season when he won 22 games. Lee has gone 65-33 since the start of the 2008 season and has a 7-3 postseason record.

3) Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

The fourth year pitcher has followed the footsteps Dodger lefty greats Fernando Valenzeula and Sandy Koufax by winning the Cy Young Award last year. Kershaw won the NL pitching triple crown finishing with 21 wins, a 2.28 ERA, and 248 strikeouts. He also led the NL in WHIP with 0.98 and was third in innings pitched with 233.1.

2) Roy Halladay, Phillies

Doc had another All Star year last year making his 8th All Star team and finishing 2nd in CYA voting. Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 233.2 innings in 2011. He has finished in the top five in Cy Young Award voting the past 6 seasons and is 12 wins away from 200 career wins.

1) Justin Verlander, Tigers

Verlander has always had great stuff, but he took it another level in 2011. Verlander had a dominant season last year, winning the Cy Young Award and AL MVP. He won the pitching Triple Crown with a 2.40 ERA, 24 wins, and 250 strikeouts and led the AL with a 0.92 WHIP and 251 innings pitched. Verlander has won over 18 games four times in his career and 107 total.

Justin Verlander Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the New York Yankees  at Comerica Park on May 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Top Ten Right Fielders

10) Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners

Ichiro had his worst all around season since coming to America in 2011. He hit a career worst .272, which is 54 points below his career average. He had his first non 200 hit season and finished with 184 hits which was good for 9th in the AL last season. He still has his speed, stealing 40 bases last year which was 3rd in the league. Ichiro's steak of 10 straight Gold Gloves also ended last year, but he is still a good defender. Ichiro is 38 now and has 2428 hits in 11 seasons in the big leagues. He's less than 600 hits away from 3,000, but you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank.

9) Andre Ethier, Dodgers

Ethier battled through some injuries last year, but made his second All Star team in 2011. He did win his first Gold Glove as well. He batted .292 with a .368 OBP but his power numbers were down only hitting 11 home runs and 62 RBIs and slugging just .421. Just two years ago, Ethier had 31 home runs and 106 RBIs and finished 6th in MVP voting. The Dodgers are hoping he can regain his health and power in 2012.

8) Nelson Cruz, Rangers

The best part of Cruz's game is his power. He hit 29 home runs and drove in 87 runs and had a .509 slugging pct. last year. He batted .263 but had a subpar .312 OBP in 2011. He won the ALCS MVP in 2011 and hit 8 home runs and 16 RBIs during the postseason last year. Cruz already has 14 career postseason home runs in 33 games.

7) Nick Markakis, Orioles

Markakis has quietely been one of the majors best right fielders for the past five years, toiling in obscurity in Baltimore. He won his first Gold Glove in 2011 and had 12 outfield assists. He actually had a down year offensively for him, posting a career worst batting average at .284. His power was down as well, but he still hit 15 home runs and 31 doubles last year. But, this is a guy who had 4 straight 40 double seasons prior to last year, and has twice drove in over 100 runs.

6) Corey Hart, Brewers

Brewers manager Ron Roniecke was batting Hart at the leadoff spot in the second half of last season. That explains why his RBIs were down driving in only 63 runs after driving in 102 the previous season. Still, Hart had a good year batting .285 with a .356 OBP and a .510 slugging pct. and hit 26 home runs.

5) Jay Bruce, Reds

Bruce made his first All Star team with the Reds last year. He was 8th in the NL with 32 home runs and 8th in RBIs with 97. Bruce still strikes out alot, although not quite as much as former Red and strikeout machine Adam Dunn. Bruce is also a way better defensive player than Dunn is.

4) Hunter Pence, Phillies

Pence went from playing on a 100 loss team(Astros) to playing on a team that would win over 100 games last year. Pence was 4th in the National League with a .314 batting average, 8th with a .537 slugging ptc. 7th in total bases with 304 and 4th in doubles with 38. He also hit 22 home runs, 97 RBIs, and was 3rd in the NL with 11 outfield assists.

3) Mike Stanton, Marlins

In only his second year, Stanton hit 34 home runs playing his home games in a tough pitcher's park. He was also 5th in the NL with a .537 slugging pct. and had 10 outfield assists last year. Stanton is only 22, and is just scratching the surface of his potential.

2) Justin Upton, Diamondbacks

Upton rebounded from a off year in 2010 and helped lead his team to the postseason in 2011. Upton hit .289 with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs last year. He slugged .529 and was 5th in the NL with 313 total bases. Upton also finished 4th in MVP voting and made his second All Star team last year.

1) Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

Bautista proved in 2011 he wasn't a fluke. He led the American League in slugging pct. with .608, was 2nd in OBP with .447, was 6th in total bases with 315, 6th in runs with 105, 10th in RBIs with 103, and led the AL in home runs again with 43. Bautista has hit 97 home runs the last 2 seasons, the most in the big leagues during that time. He also finished in the top five in MVP voting for the second straight year. Blue Jays hitting coach Dwayne Murphy deserves props for fixing Bautista's swing because he wasn't much of a hitter when he played for the Pirates.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top Ten Center Fielders

10) Peter Bourjos, Angels

2011 was Bourjos first full season in the big leagues. He played great defense and batted .271 with 12 home runs, 43 RBIs, and 22 steals. He also tied for the AL lead in triples with 11. Bourjos also has a cannon for a arm, he had 10 outfield assists in only 51 games in 2010. The American League took notice last year and didn't take as many chances and Bourjos only had 7 assists in 2011.

9) BJ Upton, Rays

Upton has been a classic underachiever much of his career. It seems like he should be better than he actually is considering the talent he has. He's been in the top six in the AL in strikeouts the last five seasons, but he does draw a fair amount of walks. Still, he only batted .243 with a .331 OBP in 2011. His power numbers were up though, he hit 23 home runs and 83 RBIs his highest totals since his breakout 2007 campaign. Upton also had his fourth straight season of 30 plus steals last year.

8) Adam Jones, Orioles

One of the few bright spots in Baltimore, Jones had another solid season last year. He batted .280 with 25 home runs, 94 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases. He also was 2nd in the American League with 16 outfield assists. Jones has won one Gold Glove in his career after the 2009 season.

7) Michael Bourn, Braves

Bourn is one of baseball's best leadoff hitters, and was traded from the Astros to the Braves at the trading deadline last year. Bourn had a .294 average and a .349 on base pct. in 2011 and was third in triples(10), third in hits(193), and ninth in runs scored(94). Bourn also led the National League with 61 steals, his third straight season leading the league. He is also an excellent defender, winning 2 Gold Gloves during his career.

6) Shane Victorino, Phillies

Victorino might have had the best all around year of Phillies regulars last season. He made his second All Star team and finished 13th in MVP voting in 2011. The Flying Hawaiian batted .279, had a OBP of .355, hit 17 home runs, drove in 61 runs, was 7th in the NL with 95 runs, and led the NL with 16 triples. Victorino is a fearless defender and makes all kinds of diving catches. He has won 3 Gold Gloves in his career for his defensive efforts.

5) Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

This is probably the most talented player the Pirates have had since Barry Bonds. McCutchen batted .259, had a .364 OBP, hit 23 home runs, 89 RBIs, and stole 23 bases. However, he did fall into a slump in the second half and had a .216 average after the All Star break. McCutchen is a five tool player and it wouldn't surprise me if he had a 30/30 season this year.

4) Curtis Granderson, Yankees

The Grandy Man had a terrific all around year in 2011. He finished 4th in MVP voting and made his first All Star team as a Yankee last year. Granderson was 5th in the AL in slugging(.552), 1st in runs scored(136), 5th in total bases(322), 3rd in triples(10), 2nd in home runs(41), and 1st in RBIs(119) last year.

3) Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

After missing almost all of 2010, Ellsbury rebounded with a career year in 2011. He made his first All Star team, won a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and was 2nd in MVP voting. Last year, Ellsbury was 5th in average(.321), 5th in OBP(.376), 6th in slugging pct.(.552), 1st in total bases(364), 3rd in hits(212), 3rd in runs scored(119), 3rd in doubles(46), 5th in home runs(32), 6th in RBIs(105), and 4th in stolen bases(39). Two time stolen base champion Ellsbury has always hit for a good average, but never before shown the kind of power he did last year.

2) Josh Hamilton, Rangers

Hamilton is one of the best players in the game, but has trouble staying healthy. After playing in 156 games in 2008, he has played in 89, 133, and 121 games the following seasons. Last year Hamilton hit .298 with 25 home runs, 94 RBIs, and was 8th in the AL with a .536 slugging pct. Not quite as dominant as he was during his 2010 MVP season, but he did help get the Rangers to their second straight World Series last year.

1) Matt Kemp, Dodgers

Kemp has been one of the better center fielders since becoming a fulltime starter in 2007, but he had his first superstar year last year. He nearly won the NL MVP and won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. Kemp finished 3rd in the NL in average(.324), 4th in OBP(.399), 2nd in slugging pct.(.586), 1st in runs scored(115), 2nd in hits(195), 1st in total bases(353), 1st in home runs(39), 1st in RBIs(126), and 2nd in stolen bases(40). He nearly had the fifth 40/40 season in major league history and won two legs of the Triple Crown in 2011. The Dodgers decided to lock up Kemp to a 8 year deal after the season.


Top Ten Left Fielders

Walt Jocketty has signed another former Cardinal, Ryan Ludwick to be the Reds 4th outfielder or possibly left fielder. The Reds have also added pitchers Mat Latos, Sean Marshall, and Ryan Madson this offseason and look to be the Cardinals main competition this season.

Third base was a challenging position to rank due to so many of them having down years last season. Left field isn't easy either with the Ryan Braun situation. The 2011 NL MVP apparently failed a PED test, but is appealing. There is alot of rumors about something else that caused it, but no one knows for sure yet. Plus, you never know if the Rangers plan on playing Josh Hamilton in center or left, for now it looks like center. There doesn't seem to be as many good left fielders as in years past, and there is alot of them who are past their prime in the middle of giant contracts like Alfonso Soriano, Jason Bay, and Vernon Wells.

10) Desmond Jennings, Rays

I picked him over Logan Morrison, Martin Prado, and NL Gold Glove winner Gerardo Parra. Jennings has been in the top 50 prospect list for several years. Granted, Jennings only played 63 games last year, but when he solidified the leadoff spot for the Rays after being called up in late July. He batted .259 and had a .356 on base pct. and hit 10 home runs, 25 RBIs, and stole 20 bases in only 287 plate appearances. It looks like Jennings is the replacement for Carl Crawford in Tampa Bay.

9) Carlos Lee, Astros

I didn't think I would rank an Astros player period, but left field is kind of a weak position right now. Lee isn't the player he once was, and has little range in left. But, Lee did bat .275 with a .342 OBP with 18 home runs and 94 RBIs last year. Lee is in the last season of his deal, and Astros management is looking to deal him.

8) Brett Gardner, Yankees

Gardner don't hit for much power, but he is a good fielder and baserunner. He led the AL in stolen bases with 49 and was 4th in triples last year.

7) Josh Willingham, Twins

Willingham signed a three year deal with Minnesota in the offseason after playing in Oakland last year. In 2011 he hit 29 home runs and drove in 98 runs.

6) Carlos Quentin, Padres

I'm not sure how the move from the White Sox to the Padres will affect Quentin. Petco Park is a extreme pitcher's park, and US Cellular Park was known as a hitters park. He's never been able to match his breakout year of 2008, but was good when he played last year. Last year, Quentin had 24 home runs and 31 doubles in 117 games. I would expect more doubles and less home runs for 2012.

5) Alex Gordon, Royals

Gordon has finally turned into the player the Royals thought he would, although its as a left fielder not a third baseman. Gordon was 10th in the AL in batting average(.303), 6th in doubles(45), 10th in runs scored(101), 8th in hits(185), and 8th in total bases(307). He hit 23 home runs, 87 RBIs, and stole 17 bases last year. Gordon also led major league outfielders with 20 assists last year, so don't run on him. He won his first Gold Glove as well.

4) Carl Crawford, Red Sox

I'm going to give Crawford a mulligan for 2011. His first season as a Red Sox was not a good one. He had a poor year batting only .255 with a terrible .289 on base pct. His power numbers and stolen bases were down as well. But this is the same guy who finished 7th in MVP voting in 2010 and has led the league in steals four times. Crawford is a lifetime .293 hitter and only 30 years old, so I would expect him to rebound in 2012.

3) Matt Holliday, Cardinals

Holliday missed time for appendicitis, knee problems, finger, hand injury, and had a bug fly in his ear last season. He still hit .296, slugged .525,  and was 6th in the NL with a .388 OBP. He hit 22 home runs and had 75 RBIs, but was 9th in the NL with 36 doubles. Holliday played the fewest games since his rookie year in 2004 last year, and the Cardinals need a healthy productive year from him in 2012.

2) Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies

Cargo had a nice follow up to his breakout 2010 season when he won the batting title, Gold Glove, and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Last season, Gonzalez batted .285, slugged .526, had a .363 OBP, hit 26 home runs, drove in 92 runs, and stole 20 bases.

1) Ryan Braun, Brewers

Reportedly, Braun failed a PED test last year in the playoffs but is appealing it. He claims it was due to a medication he was taking for a private medical issue. I'm not even going to get into that. For now, I will rank him for what he has done on the field. He won the NL MVP last year after finshing 2nd in average(.332), 5th in OBP(.397), 1st in slugging pct.(.597), 6th in HR(33), 4th in RBIs(111), 7th in stolen bases(33) 2nd in runs(109), 5th in hits(187), and 2nd in total bases(336). Braun has also hit well in the postseason and has .379 average in 15 career playoff games. We'll see how the PED situation plays out, its possible that Holliday or Cargo could overtake him as the best left fielder in the league this year.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Top Ten Third Baseman

Due to injuries and declining performance I've left off Scott Rolen and David Wright, two guys who are usually among the best 3B in the league. Alot of other third baseman had down years or injury plagued years last season. Although David Freese has yet to play a full season, if he can stay healthy this year I underrated him on this list.

10) David Freese, Cardinals

Only injuries can keep Freese from being an All Star. Freese played in 97 games during the regular season last year and batted .297 with a .350 OBP and a .441 slugging pct. with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs. In 18 postseason games Freese had a .397 average, .465 OBP, and a .794 slugging pct. with 5 home runs and 21 home runs. He won both the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP, becoming the fifth player to win both the LCS and World Series MVP. The others were Cole Hamels, Livan Hernandez, Orel Hershiser, and Willie Stargell.

9) Chipper Jones, Braves

Still a pretty decent hitter although he's about to turn 40 years old. Chipper batted .275 and slugged .470 last year and hit 18 home runs and 70 RBIs. Chipper made his 7th All Star team last year, and is a certain Hall of Famer after he retires. One of the best switch hitters of all time.

8) Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Injuries and age are starting to catch up with A-Rod. He is now 36, and his days of winning MVPs are over. However, he batted .276 with a .362 OBP and a .461 slugging pct. in 99 games last year. A-Rod is also approaching some career milestones, he is 107 RBIs away from 2000 and 225 hits away from 3000.

7) Hanley Ramirez, Marlins

Ramirez had his worst season by far last year playing in only 92 games he set career lows in batting average, on base pct., slugging pct., home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and a few other categories. Ramirez only batted .243 last year, which is almost 100 points lower than when he won the batting title in 2009 with a .342 average. Han Ram will be moving from shortstop to third this season to make room for Jose Reyes. If Ramirez can rebound from last year and adjust to his new position, he could be one of the best in the league.

6) Aramis Ramirez, Brewers

Ramirez had his best season since 2008 last year for the Cubs. He was 7th in the NL in batting average with .307 and was 10th in total bases with 288. Ramirez also hit 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. Still a good offensive player, although he is a liability on defense. Ramirez signed a 3 year deal with the Brewers in the offseason.

5) Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

Youk was also hit by the injury bug last year, only playing in 120 games. He also hit a career low .258 last year. But he did have a very good on base pct. at .373. Youk also hit 17 home runs and drove in 80 runs. He's won a Gold Glove as a first baseman, and is a pretty good defender at third as well.

4) Pablo Sandoval, Giants

Sandoval got in better shape for 2011 and had a season more like 2009 than like 2010 when he was overweight and less productive. The Kung Fu Panda made his first All Star team last year and finished 17th in MVP voting. In 117 games he hit .315, slugged .552, hit 23 home runs, and 70 RBIs. He also has improved his defense at third.

3) Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Beltre had another good year in his first season in Texas last year. He batted .296, slugged .561, hit 32 home runs, and 105 RBIs in 2011. He also made the All Star team, won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Beltre also had a good postseason hitting 5 home runs during it.

2) Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

Zimmerman was limited to 101 games last year, but hit .289 with a .355 OBP. Zimmerman is one of the best defensive third baseman in the game and when healthy is one of the best offensive ones too. He's quietly had a good career so far in 6 seasons in Washington.

1) Evan Longoria, Rays

He probably had his worst overall season in 2011, but still finished in the top ten in MVP voting. His batting average was only .244, but he did have a .355 on base pct. and batted .289 in September. Was 8th in the AL with 31 home runs and played his usual good defense at third. Played a big role in overcoming a big Red Sox lead for the wild card last year. Considering he is only 26, and is a very good all around player who's recieved MVP votes every year he's played, I would say Longo is the best third baseman right now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Top Ten Shortstops

It looks like Bud Selig is going to be commissioner for life. He is 77 years old and was just given a 2 year extension. Anyway, here's my shortstop rankings.

10) Alexei Ramirez, White Sox

The Cuban defector Ramirez put up another solid season last year. He batted .269 with 15 home runs and 70 RBIs. Ramirez was also second in the AL in assists and 5th in putouts last year.

9) JJ Hardy, Orioles

Playing for his third team in three years, Hardy had his best season since 2008 last year. He batted .269, slugged a AL shortstop best .491, hit 30 home runs, and drove in 80 runs. Hardy also led AL shortstops in range factor, which is putouts plus assists divided by games played. Basically, its how many defensive plays he averaged per game.

8) Jhonny Peralta, Tigers

Peralta made his first All Star team last year in his first full season with Detroit. He batted .299, slugged .478, and had a OBP of .345. Peralta also hit 21 home runs and had 86 RBIs. 2011 was the fourth 20 plus home run season for Peralta.

7) Derek Jeter, Yankees

The Yankees captain Jeter hit his 3000th hit last season and is capping off a Hall of Fame career. He batted .297 with a .355 OBP last season and had 61 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The 12 time All Star is now 21st alltime in runs and 20th alltime in hits.

6) Jimmy Rollins, Phillies

2007 MVP Rollins had a bounceback year from an injury plagued 2010 season. J-Roll batted .268 and hit 16 home runs, 63 RBIs, and was 10th in the National League with 30 stolen bases. Rollins has won 3 Gold Gloves during his career and is the active leader for stolen bases during a career by a shortstop.

5) Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians

Cabrera had a breakout year in 2011 making his first All Star team. Cabrera batted .273, slugged .460, hit 25 home runs, and stole 17 bases. Cabrera also led AL shortstops with 92 RBIs last year and won the Silver Slugger award.

4) Elvis Andrus, Rangers

One of the best, if not the best defensive shortstop in baseball. Andrus has been a key player in two straight World Series teams. Last year, Andrus batted .279 with a .347 OBP, and had 60 RBIs. Andrus was 5th in the AL with 37 stolen bases last year. He also was 3rd in assists and 2nd in putouts by a AL shortstop in 2011.

3) Starlin Castro, Cubs

About the only bright spot for the North Siders, Castro had his first All Star season last year. He was 6th in the NL with a .307 average, led the league with 207 hits, was 5th in triples(9), and 9th in doubles(36). Castro also hit 10 homers, 66 RBIs, and stole 17 bases. He led the NL in putouts and assists by a shortstop, but he also led the league in errors by a shortstop.

2) Jose Reyes, Marlins

New Marlin Reyes had his of his best seasons with the Mets last year. He won the batting title with a .337 average, and led the NL in triples with 16. He was 8th in on base pct. with .384 and slugged .493 last year. Reyes also was 6th in steals with 39 and 8th in hits with 181. Reyes has made four All Star teams and finished 11th in MVP voting in 2011.

1) Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

There is no doubt that Tulo is the best shortstop in baseball. He is a great defender, and a pretty good hitter as well. Tulo was 10th in BA(.302), 10th in OBP(.372), and 6th in slugging pct.(.544). He also hit 30 home runs, was 5th in RBIs with 105, 9th in doubles with 36, and 8th in total bases with 292. Tulo won his second straight Gold Glove and finished 8th in MVP voting. That marks the third straight season he's been in the top ten in MVP voting.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top Ten Second Baseman

10) Dan Uggla, Braves

Had an awful first half last season batting .185, but had a 33 game hitting streak after the All Star break. Finished with a .233 average, .311 OBP, and a .453 slugging pct. Uggla finished 4th in the National League in home runs with 36 and was 5th in 2010 with 33. Has had 5 straight 30 home run seasons. Uggla is a poor defender though, and tied for the NL lead in errors by a second baseman last year and has been in the top five every season he's played.

9) Neil Walker, Pirates

Walker led National League second baseman in RBIs last year with 83. He also was third in assists and 1st in putouts by a second baseman last year. Hit .273 and was 9th in the NL in doubles with 36. Walker is entering his third season and could move up the list this year.

8) Rickie Weeks, Brewers

Weeks made his first All Star team last season, but was hurt in the second half. Weeks has been injury prone during his career, with the exception of the 2010 season when he played 160 games. Weeks also struggled in the postseason and tied for the league lead in errors by a second baseman. Weeks defense isn't the best and he has led the NL in errors by a 2B four seperate occasions. However, Weeks has good power for the position.

7) Howie Kendrick, Angels

Kendrick had his best season to date in 2011, batting .285 with 18 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 14 steals. He also made his first All Star team last year. Kendrick is regarded as a good defender as well. The Halos just gave Kendrick a four year extension this month worth 33 million and he will be an Angel until at least 2015.

6) Ben Zobrist, Rays

Primarily a second baseman now, Zobrist can play about anywhere in the field. Zobrist was 6th in the American League with 72 extra base hits last season. He compiled a .269 average, .353 OBP, hit 20 home runs, drove in 91 runs, scored 99 runs, and stole 19 bases. Zobrist also finished 16th in AL MVP voting.

5) Ian Kinsler, Rangers

Mizzou alum Kinsler had a pretty good year last season. Kinsler was 2nd in runs(121), 5th in home runs(32), 5th in walks(89), and 9th in stolen bases(30) in the AL. Kinsler has made two All Star teams in his career and has been the sparkplug of two World Series teams. He also finished 11th in MVP voting last year.

4) Chase Utley, Phillies

Its safe to say Utley was the best second baseman in baseball from 2005 til 2010. The last two years he's played in 115 and 103 games, so health is a concern for Utley, who has had problems with his hip. His batting average, on base pct., and slugging pct. last year were the lowest for him since he became a starter. If fully healthy this season, he could have a bounceback year.

3) Brandon Phillips, Reds

Phillips was the National League's best second baseman last year and won his third Gold Glove. He batted .300 with a .353 OBP and a .457 slugging pct. He was 9th in runs(94), 7th in hits(183), 4th in doubles(38), 2nd in assists, and 5th in putouts by a second baseman in the NL. Phillips also hit 18 home runs, 82 RBIs, and stole 14 bases making his second straight All Star appearance.

2) Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

2008 AL MVP Pedroia had another all around good year last season. He won his second Gold Glove and was 7th in batting average(.307), 7th in on base pct.(.387), 6th in hits(195), and 9th in total bases(301) in the American League. Pedroia also set career highs for home runs(21), RBIs(91), and steals(26).

1) Robinson Cano, Yankees

Cano had another monster season last year, making his third All Star team and finishing 6th in MVP voting. He was 2nd in RBIs(118), 3rd in doubles(46), 7th in hits(188), and 7th in runs(104) in the AL. Cano also hit 28 home runs and won his third Silver Slugger. His average was .302, OBP .349, and slugging pct. .533. Don Mattingly once predicted Cano would win a batting title, is 2012 the year for him to do it?


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten First Baseman

First off, congrats to Barry Larkin who just made the Hall of Fame. A Cincinnati Red that I respect unlike some of their players today. Anyway, here's my first baseman rankings.

10) Eric Hosmer, Royals

I picked him over Freddie Freeman, Todd Helton, Gaby Sanchez, and Justin Morneau for the 10th spot. Hosmer came up in May and finished with a .293 BA, 19 home runs, and 78 RBIs and placed 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting. He'll only be 22 next year, and he will be making All Star teams soon.

9) Ryan Howard, Phillies

Howard ruptured his Achilles heel at the end of the NLDS last year, and will be out the first month or two of the season. Otherwise, I probably would of rated him a spot or two higher. Howard has had 6 straight 30 home run and 100 RBI seasons and finished in the top ten in MVP voting the last 6 years as well. However, he did have his 2nd worst BA(.253) and OBP(.346) last season.

8) Paul Konerko, White Sox

Konerko has quitely had a late career surge in Chicago making the last two All Star teams. 2010 and 2011 rank among Konerko's best seasons. He batted .300 last year with 31 home runs and 105 RBIs. Konerko has 396 career homers and is closing in on his 400th.

7) Lance Berkman, Cardinals

The Big Puma had a bounceback year last year in St. Louis and helping them win a championship. This year he will play first after primarily being a right fielder last season. The switch hitting Berkman finished 7th in MVP voting and batted .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs. He also was 3rd in OBP with .412 and 5th in Slugging with .547.

6) Mark Teixeira, Yankees

Tex's average and on base pct. have dropped the last two seasons, but he has had 8 straight seasons with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs now. Regarded as a good defender, he was won 3 Gold Gloves during his career.

5) Prince Fielder, Free Agent

Prince hasn't decided on a team yet, but the Nationals are rumored to be the front runner. Fielder finished 3rd in MVP voting last year and helped the Brewers win their first NL Central division title. He was 2nd in OBP(.415), 2nd in HR(38), 2nd in RBI(120), 7th in runs(95), and 3rd in total bases(322) last season. Fielder also won the All Star MVP Award last season.

4) Joey Votto, Reds

The 2010 NL MVP had a strong follow up season in 2011 and led the National League in doubles, on base pct., and walks. He also batted .309 with 29 home runs and 103 RBIs and won the Gold Glove last year. With Pujols gone to the American League, Votto might be the National League's best first baseman now.

3) Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

In his first season with the Sox, AGone finished 3rd in OBP(.410), 7th in slugging(.548), 2nd in average(.338), 3rd in RBI(117), 1st in hits(213), and 2nd in total bases(345). Gonzalez also won the Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and was 7th in AL MVP voting.

2) Albert Pujols, Angels

That still felt strange typing that, but Albert has moved on to the American League now. Pujols has had 11 great seasons in a row, but had his worst statistical season in 2011. It was still good enough to finish 5th in MVP voting and he still was 3rd in the NL with 37 home runs. While he finished just short of 100 RBIs and a .300 BA, he did keep his streak of 30 home runs going. His defense wasn't as sharp last year, and led the NL in double plays grounded into.

1) Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Cabrera has recieved MVP votes every season he's played in, and has had OPS over 1.000 the last two years. Since 2004, Cabrera has hit 30 home runs every year but once, drove in 100 RBIs every year, hit .300 in all but two, scored 100 runs five times, and had an OBP over .400 four times. After nearly winning the MVP in 2010, Cabrera came back to win his first batting title last year and led the Tigers to the postseason.

I used to call Cabrera Pujols-Light, but now I honestly feel that he has surpassed him as the top first baseman in baseball right now. I'm not talking career wise since Pujols has the more impressive career numbers. But I'm talking about who's the better player in 2012, and I think that is Cabrera. Pujols is a lock for the Hall of Fame, and I think Cabrera will be in Cooperstown someday as well. Here's some numbers to prove my point, as you can see below Cabrera has outperformed Pujols the last two seasons.

           Pujols     Cabrera
           2010       2010
BA       .312       .328 
OBP    .414        .420
SLG     .596       .622
           2011       2011
BA       .299        .344
OBP     .366       .448
SLG     .541        .586

Monday, January 9, 2012

Top Ten Catchers

For the next few weeks I'm going to post my position rankings. Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or disagreements.

10) Wilson Ramos, Nationals

Was kidnapped this past offseason in Venezeula, but was rescued a few days later. Anyway, Ramos was 4th in the Rookie of the Year balloting last year. He hit .267 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs last year and threw out 32% of runners. I went with Ramos as number 10 because of his potential, and left off veteran catchers AJ Pierzynski and Russell Martin.

9) Carlos Ruiz, Phillies

A unsung hero of the Phillies, Chooch has received MVP votes the last two seasons. Not a power hitter, but is known for clutch hits and posts good On Base Pct. Ruiz is also regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in baseball.

8) Buster Posey, Giants

I may be ranking Posey to low, but he was limited to 45 games after suffering a season ending injury in a collision at home plate. Posey was great in 2010 winning the Rookie of the Year, World Series, and finishing 11th in the MVP voting. During Posey's brief career, he has a .294 BA and has thrown out 37% of runners trying to steal.

7) Matt Wieters, Orioles

You may not have heard of Wieters, but that's because he plays for the Orioles. Wieters made his first All Star team last year and won the Gold Glove in the American League. In his third season last year, he hit 22 home runs, drove in 68 runs, and was third in the AL in Caught Stealing pct.

6) Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks

Guess who had the most RBIs by a catcher last year? It was Montero with 86. He also was 9th in the National League in doubles and 1st in the NL in Caught Stealing pct. with 40%. He was a big reason why the DBacks were a first place club last season.

5) Alex Avila, Tigers

Avila was 5th in the AL in OBP with .389 last year, and was 8th in OPS with .895. He also posted a .295 BA with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs. Avila finished 12th in AL MVP voting last season and made the All Star team.

4) Brian McCann, Braves

Already a six time All Star, McCann had his usual good offensive season last year. The winner of the 2010 All Star MVP Award, McCann has proven to be one of the most consistent and durable catchers in baseball since making his debut in 2005.

3) Mike Napoli, Rangers

Napoli had a breakout season last year, batting .320, hitting 30 homers, 75 RBIs, and had a .631 slugging pct. While he did play some of his games at first base and DH last year, he also threw out 36% of runners trying to steal. Napoli also had a monster postseason for the Rangers last year, batting .328 with 3 homers and 15 RBIs.

2) Yadier Molina, Cardinals

I was tempted to put Yadi as number 1 this year, but didn't due to Joe Mauer's track record of greatness. However, Molina had his best all around year last season. He was 8th in the NL with a .305 BA and was 2nd in a little known stat called AB per SO. Unfortunately, he was also 2nd in double plays grounded into. Yadi won his fourth Gold Glove, made his third All Star team, and won the World Series last year. He also set career highs for home runs(14), RBIs(65), and slugging pct.(.465) last season. The only thing down was his CS % at 29%, his career pct. is 44%.

1) Joe Mauer, Twins

Mauer had a injury plagued year last season playing in only 82 games. 30 of those games were at other positions, and he will likely play first and DH when he's not catching this season to keep him healthier. He is still regarded as a good defensive catcher, though. Mauer's BA was .287 last year, but down 36 points from his career totals. Same with his OPS which was .729 last year compared to a career total of .874. But this is a guy who has won three batting crowns, the 2009 AL MVP, and made four All Star teams since debuting in 2004. He will turn 29 this year, but I think he'll bounce back in 2012.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

How the rest of the NL Central stacks up

Neil Walker Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by teammate Neil Walker #18 after hitting a three run home run against the St Louis Cardinals in the third inning during the game on August 16, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I've already written alot about the Cardinals chances and makeup of their club next season. As we know already know Albert Pujols, Octavio Dotel, Ryan Theriot, Arthur Rhodes, Nick Punto, Gerald Laird, and probably Edwin Jackson are gone. Carlos Beltran and JC Romero were added and guys like Tyler Greene, Tony Cruz, Eduardo Sanchez, etc. will likely be in the big leagues for good next year. What this post is going to focus on is the Cardinals competition for the NL Central in 2012.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are going on season 104 without a World Series title this year. They've revamped their front office hiring Theo Epstein to head baseball operations. He then hired Padres GM Jed Hoyer and former Brewers coach Dale Sveum as manager. It looks like Epstein plans on rebuilding with youth, so I wouldn't expect the Cubs to turn it around next season. They've also got rid of clubhouse cancer Carlos Zambrano this week, and Aramis Ramirez left for the Brewers. Epstein is also looking to deal Matt Garza as well. Top lefty reliever Sean Marshall was traded to the Reds for Travis Wood in the offseason.

The Cubs have added Ian Stewart to play third base and David DeJesus to play right field. The strength of this team is the middle infield that has Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. 2008 Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto is a solid catcher, but has never regained his rookie form. They are still saddled with Alfonso Soriano's contract for another three years. Their pitching staff looks weak and Carlos Marmol is their only established reliever now.

Cincinnati Reds

After winning the division in 2010, the Reds finished a dissapointing third place last year under .500 as well. Still, this is a team that could compete for the division in 2012. They have a potent offense led by 2010 MVP Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce. Scott Rolen and Ramon Hernandez are aging and will need to spelled by Juan Francisco and Ryan Hanigan at times this year. Youngsters Chris Heisey and Zack Cozart will be given a shot to be everyday players in 2012 as well.

The Reds made a big splash trading for Mat Latos from the Padres. They had to trade Edinson Volquez, Yadier Alonso, and two other prospects to get him. Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Mike Leake round out the rotation. The Reds also added lefty Sean Marshall, who has been one of baseballs best relievers the last couple of years. The Reds are still in the market for a closer and could still re-sign Francisco Cordero. I would  think the Reds will be the Cards biggest competition in 2012.

Houston Astros

This team was awful last year losing 106 games, the most in the majors. They traded Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn at the trading deadline last year, and their best player is probably Carlos Lee now. Former Cardinals scouting director Jeff Luhnow takes over as GM. Needless to say, he has a massive rebuilding project in Houston. Luhnow's first move was to trade closer Mark Melancon to the Red Sox for shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland.

Lefty Wandy Rodriguez is their best pitcher, but he may get traded. Brett Myers is also a candidate to get traded as well. Their third starter is Cardinal killer Bud Norris. 2008 first rounder Jordan Lyles made his debut last year, but he may have been rushed to the big leagues at age 20. He had a 5.36 ERA last year. Most of the Astros top prospects are in A ball so I expect the Astros to be just as bad in 2012. 2012 will also be the Astros last season in the National League. They will be moving to the American League West for the 2013 season.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers won their first NL Central crown last year, winning 96 games. However, Prince Fielder is likely to sign elsewhere and Ryan Braun is facing a 50 game suspension for PEDs. They still have All Stars Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. The Brewers improved their defense at short with Alex Gonzalez who replaces Yuni Betancourt. They've also improved their offense at third base replacing Casey McGehee with Aramis Ramirez.

The pitching staff returns intact led by Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke. Shawn Marcum pitched well during the first half of the season, but faded down the stretch and the postseason. Crafty lefty Randy Wolf also returns. Francisco Rodriguez surprisingly accepted arbitration even though he was unhappy about being a setup man. 2011 Rolaids Relief Award Winner John Axford had a great season as closer last year, leading the NL in saves and posting a 1.95 ERA. I look for the Brewers to still be a good ballclub, but I doubt they are a 90 win team this year.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates were actually in first place breifly in July last season. They then faded, but manager Clint Hurdle is turning this team around. Their pitching improved in 2011, with James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, and Charlie Morton all having career years. All Star closer Joel Hanrahan finally put it together last year. The offense is led by CF Andrew McCutchen and 2B Neil Walker, who look to fixtures for years to come. LF Jose Tabata signed a long term extension last year, and when healthy is a good leadoff hitter.

The Pirates added left handed starter Erik Bedard, OF Nate McLouth, and INF Clint Barmes in the offseason. 3B Pedro Alvarez was supposed to be a future star, but struggled mightily last year batting .191 and hit for little power. He will have to compete with Josh Harrison for playing time this year. The Pirates have a good farm system, and they should finally have a winning season soon. They haven't finished above .500 since 1992, but this could be the year they finally do.

I don't see why the Cardinals can't compete this season in the NL Central. Even without Pujols, they stack up well against this division and the National League in general. Ace pitcher Adam Wainwright will be returning from Tommy John surgery, and the Cardinals were able to win without him last year.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scott Boras Wants 5 Years/60 Mil for Edwin Jackson

According to this above link, Scott Boras is seeking a five year deal worth 60 million for Edwin Jackson. Yikes. This is a guy who can be dominant, but often times is wild and very hittable. He threw a no hitter in 2010 for the DBacks, but walked 8 batters and threw 149 pitches. At best, the free agent right hander is a 3rd or 4th starter. Jackson has a career 4.46 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and is 60-60.

Jackson was drafted by the Dodgers in 2001, and made his debut for them in 2003. He was up and down from the big leagues to the minors until the Dodgers traded him to the Rays in 2006. Jackson was a starter for the 2008 Rays, but pitched out of the bullpen during the playoffs that year. He was traded to the Tigers after the season for Matt Joyce. In Detroit, Jackson had his best season making the All Star team. Jackson fell apart in the second half of 2009, posting a 5.07 ERA after the All Star break that year.

Jackson was again traded after 2009 in a three way deal involving the Yankees and DBacks. Curtis Granderson ended up on the Yanks, while the Tigers recieved Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, and another player. The DBacks got Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Besides a no hitter in June, Jackson didn't do much for Arizona going 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA. He was traded to the White Sox at the trading deadline for Daniel Hudson. Finally, this past year Jackson was traded to the Cardinals in a three way deal involving the Blue Jays sending Colby Rasmus to Toronto and Jackson, Octavio Dotel, and Scrabble to St. Louis. Jackson was 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 12 starts for the Cards last year. However, he pitched poorly in the NLCS and World Series.

Needless to say, Jackson is a well traveled pitcher who has played for 6 teams by the age of 28. He is a similar pitcher to Jake Westbrook, but with a better fastball. There are some people who think a good pitching coach can help him turn the corner, but he's had two of the best the last two seasons in Don Cooper and Dave Duncan. Jackson's biggest problem is he gives up too many walks and hits, and it doesn't look like he's going to be able to cut down on that. Boras will probably get some team to overpay, but it won't be the Cardinals. They are already set with Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse, Westbrook, and Kyle McClellan can fill in if needed. Super prospect Shelby Miller will be ready soon also. The only way he was going back to St. Louis is if he took a one year deal, and a trade of Lohse or Westbrook happened. The Cardinals will recieve draft pick compensation for Jackson leaving though.

Edwin Jackson's career stats