MLB
30 Players, 30 Teams - Arizona Diamondbacks
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Arizona Diamondbacks Miguel Montero

 

In this series, we are going to spotlight one player on each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams. However, we won't be highlighting just any player. Rather, we are going to call attention to the one guy from each squad that is the heart and soul of the team.

 

We're going to start things off alphabetically, which gets us started with the Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Arizona Diamondbacks - Miquel Montero - Catcher

 

Acquired: April 23, 2001 - Amateur Free Agent

Signed Through: 2017 (6-Year, $65.9 Million)

MLB Debut: September 6, 2006

 

They say that catchers are the gateway to the game and Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is the perfect example of that philosophy. A 7-year veteran, Montero has proven himself as one of the best catchers in the game by placing in the top 4 among Major League catchers in fWAR in both 2011 (4.3) and 2012 (5.0).

 

Since becoming a regular in 2009, Montero has carved a solid name for himself with his bat, being one of the few catchers in the league that have been able to provide the unique ability to hit for both average and power, averaging nearly .283 at the plate while adding 15 home runs and 69 runs batted in over that period. His production has only increased over the last two seasons, as Montero has been thrust into a position as a run producer, with the stud catcher notching 86 and 88 RBI's in each of 2011 and 2012 respectively.

 

 

Year

G

PA

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

OPS+

7 Yrs

654

2395

281

581

135

6

73

334

227

463

.275

.351

.448

.798

109

162 Game Avg.

162

593

70

144

33

1

18

83

56

115

.275

.351

.448

.798

109

2009

128

470

61

125

30

0

16

59

38

78

.294

.355

.478

.832

113

2010

85

331

36

79

20

2

9

43

29

71

.266

.332

.438

.770

102

2011

140

553

65

139

36

1

18

86

47

97

.282

.351

.469

.820

121

2012

141

573

65

139

25

2

15

88

73

130

.286

.391

.438

.829

120

Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table

Generated 3/10/2013.

 

That all said, while Montero's skills at the plate are his calling card, he hasn't been too shabby behind the dish either. In 2012, Montero finished third in caught stealing percentage with a 42.1% mark, placing him behind only Ryan Hannigan of the Cincinnati Reds and Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2011, Montero led Major League Baseball in the catergory, serving as the only catcher in baseball to throw out more than 40% of would be base stealers.

 

With the trade of Justin Upton and a remaking of the roster, Montero's role on the 2013 squad will be decidedly greater. The Diamondbacks have been remade under the image of their manager, Kirk Gibson, and by bringing in grinders like Cody Ross and Martin Prado to join dirt dogs like Jason Kubel and Aaron Hill, having one entrenched in the catchers role and in the heart of the order will be essential.

 

And that is exactly what Montero brings to the table. A down and dirty, take no prisoners approach to the game, and he's in the right environment for it.

 
Jones Not So Chipper On Joining Yankees
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Chipper Jones New York Yankees Atlanta Braves

 

 

You have to give New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman some credit; the man can certainly get creative. Even George Steinbrenner would be proud.

 

While the rest of the baseball world is spinning its wheels, wondering how Cashman is going to replace the offense lost by losing both Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson for the first two months of the season, the hobbled GM (he broke his leg skydiving) is not leaving any stone unturned.

 

That apparently means making a quick streak down Major League Baseball's retirement list.

 

Cashman has contacted the agents of three retired ballplayers to date; first baseman Derrek Lee, third baseman Scott Rolen, and, wait for it, third baseman Chipper Jones. That's right, Cashman apparently thought the lure of playing for the Yankees and the untold riches that went with it would be enough to lure the lifelong Brave out of his nearly five-month retirement to play on a one-year deal with the Yankees.

 

Jones, for his credit, wasn't buying in.

 

"Enough with the rumors! While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I'm happy with life as a bad golfer!"

 

Still, that didn't stop Cashman from at least kicking the tires. After all, we are talking about a future Hall of Famer who is coming off a season in which he appeared in 112 games and a .287 average, 14 home runs, 62 RBI, and a  .832 OPS in his farewell tour. Still, it was far-fetched to say the least, with Jones more likely to return to the Braves than anywhere else in baseball.

 

James Huneker once said, "All men of action are dreamers." And when the action requires thinking outside the box, then dreams are maybe all that is left.

 

It beats settling for Juan Rivera.

Hawkeegn's Thoughts
Category: MLB
Tags: World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic

Okay so some folk this is a bad idea or dumb. So be it. I think it's cool. Then again, it's hard to get too excited about it when most of your own country's players are skipping it. Other countries sent a lot of their best players (Japan especially). Imagine a team that had Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Bryce Harper? Well yeah they'll likely be part of the National league All-Star team this season. But none of them are playing for Team USA.

Yes they won today to advance to the second round. And they might advance to the semifinals. I'm not counting on it. As long as you have Cuba (always a power even if many past WBC Cuban players defected and now are in the majors) and Japan, you could easily put those two teams in the final. Although this time, the Netherlands & Italy (!) have beaten teams no one thought they would and are clearly the upstarts. You always have to like the underdog.

As for Team USA, they really need to find a way to encourage the superstars that it's really okay for them to play for the US team, that the chance of injury is small (unless you happen to be Mark Texiera) and with you there, they might actually win in the semifinal round! And if they did that, more American fans might actually pay attention. And since the WBC is Major League Baseball's idea, wouldn't it make sense to attract as many American fans as they could? Just a thought.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. See ya next time.

Hawkeegn

Baseball Digest is hiring
Category: MLB
Tags: Baseball Baseball Digest

In the March/April 2013 issue of the Baseball Digest, the magazine is looking for writers for their website as they want to expand their coverage.

If you are interested contact writers@baseballdigest.com

you will need to submit a resume and a sample writing.

 

Scott

Five Minute Frags - Underestimating Bryce Harper
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Washington Nationals Bryce Harper

 

It goes without saying that I have spent a considerable amount of time angling against Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. I have openly questioned the Nationals' decision to recall the then 19-year-old phenom and make him a permanent member of their starting line-up. I then chided Tony LaRussa and Major League Baseball for naming Harper to the National League All-Star team instead of Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves. And then to close out the trifecta, I (a man who has absolutely no say in the matter) chose Wade Miley as my pick for the NL Rookie of the Year award, a trophy that inevitably went to Harper.

 

Some would read that and say that I have a personal ax to grind with the aforementioned Harper. It is actually quite the contrary. I feel he is a phenomenal talent, but my posts were backed up with thoughts of rushing a 19-year-old and playing to media sensationalism. Of course, Harper proved me wrong in terms of his maturity and his readiness to be a Major League star. And while I won't cave on my argument for Prado a year ago, the right evidence could easily beat me on the Rookie of the Year voting.

 

Well, I'm here today to prove that I am capable of change.

 

Harper has been on fire to start the spring and is already in mid-season form in regards to his cockiness and his desire to be in the line-up at any given time. Reading that lead me to reviewing what the stat pundits are predicting for the affable outfielder heading into his sophomore season. Before we get there, let's have a look at his stat-line from 2012, courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com:

 

2012 - 597 AB/ 98 R/ 144 H/ 26 2B/ 9 3B/ 22 HR / 59 RBI/ 18 SB/ .270 BA/ .817 OPS

 

Not bad at all for a 19-year-old who played just 56 games above A-Ball in his career. It shows just how advanced Harper was, but it also showed that there was room for improvement. So with that said, one would expect that the experts would see Harper as making a steady climb in 2013, right? Not exactly.

 

Noted statistician Bill James sees Harper making just modest gains in 2013:

 

659 PA/ 24 HR/ 105 R/ 65 RBI/ 20 SB/ .823 OPS

 

Dan Szymborski at The Baseball Think Factory, the man behind the ZiPS projections is a little more generous to Harper, but not much:

 

651 PA/ 26 HR/ 89 R/ 70 RBI/ 21 SB/ .834 OPS

 

So I have ask myself what these guys are seeing, or rather not seeing, from Harper's game? When all is said and done, their projections seem to be nothing more than extrapolating Harper's 2012 numbers over a full season. They don't seem to lend any real room for improvement, which you would have to expect from a player with such a lofty ceiling.

 

Sure, someone could point to the fact that a full winter of preparation by MLB scouts will help pitchers attack Harper better. That said, wouldn't we have seen a similar response to him later in the season, after he had been around the league once or twice and the book got out on him? Instead, we saw Harper have his best split in the season in September/October:

 

Sept/Oct - 126 PA/ 27 R/ 37 H/ 8 2B/ 3 3B/ 7 HR/ 14 RBI/ 5 SB/ .330 BA/ 1.043 OPS

 

With that in mind, and a full year of maturity under his belt, if Harper is half the player that we are made to believe, than one would expect him to improve on last year's campaign, with his performance in the last month of the season as proof that he is adjusting to the league rather than the other way around.

 

While I am not predicting that Harper will have the astronomical numbers that Mike Trout had a year ago (Trout likely won't either for that matter), you have to give the man credit. He has proven the naysayers wrong and shown that he a more mature ballplayer than any other player at his age.

 

Isn't it time we start giving Bryce Harper credit where credit is due

FYI, this is just a placeholder post. My real post got wiped out last night and I am in the middle of rewriting it and will have it up later today. I apologize for the delay, but thought you might enjoy this in the meantime.

 
RSS
Blog Categories

This website is powered by Spruz