TYA Predictions: MVP

Brad Vietrogoski:

AL) Albert Pujols– He’s motivated to show St. Louis and everybody else that his 10-year contract won’t become the disaster that A-Rod’s is, he’s completely healthy, and he’s been hitting the crap out of the ball all spring. Plus, by moving to the AL Pujols can use the DH spot to stay rested, stay healthy, and still be able to contribute offensively if he does get banged up. The Angels’ lineup is full of guys who are either marginal offensive players, aging, injury-prone, or a combination of those 3. If a few guys go down, Pujols is going to have to pick up the slack, and I expect he will do just that. He’s still the best hitter in baseball and at 32 he’s still got some elite-level years left in his bat. I say .320/.420/.590, .410 wOBA, 40 HR, 130 RBI, solid D at first base, and his 4th MVP award.

NL) Justin Upton– Pujols and Fielder have left the league, Braun is going to experience voter backlash from the drug test situation, and Matt Kemp is stuck on a crummy team.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Kuroda, Cust, Montero

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Catching Up With Some Ex-Yankees (Part 2)

Last time we looked at the recent ex-Yankees was already 3 weeks ago, Spring Training is flying by.

  • Jesus Montero– The former Yankee top prospect, and now Mariner top prospect is 11 for 36 in March, with 2 homeruns and 3 doubles. That’s good for a triple slash of .306/.366/.556. The 22 year old and Felix Hernandez appear to be developing a good pitcher/catcher relationship, as well as a friendship for the two Venezuelans from Carabobo. Hernandez pitching to Montero was certainly a dream for us Yankee fans, unfortunately its happening in a different uniform. Also, apparently Montero can catch… fish.
  • Hector Noesi– The other part of the Michael Pineda trade’s latest spring training outing came on March 13th. Due to the amount of innings he threw in Winter Ball, the Mariners were careful with the righty. In his game against the Brewers he went 3.0 innings, gave up 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run. Noesi did get a start on Sunday in Japan though.
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No really, what could go wrong?

Tied with this guy's team, for now.

A (not so fun) exercise on baseball’s most optimistic (but sadly, Yankee-free) day:

C – Russell Martin – The second-year Bomber, fatigued in the middle of yet another season of near full time play behind the plate, lands on the dissabled list and hoists Francisco Cervelli or Austin Romine into the starting lineup full time. Extension talks falter and the Yankees are left with no bridge to their plethora of catching prospects.

1B – Mark Teixeira – The former MVP candidate falls prey to 30-something-slugging-first-baseman-syndrome. He hits 22 homers with a .222batting average and an atrocious on base percentage. Tex has a couple nice weeks over the summer but by October fans are starting to question – and boo – the team’s 100+ million dollar investment.

2B – Robinson Cano – Bad habits die hard, especially when your Robinson Cano. First it’s his patience at the plate. His walk rate continues to fall and he has trouble finding pitches to drive.… Click here to read the rest

Different Batted Ball Numbers From Hughes This Spring

Monday night we learned that Phil Hughes has likely earned himself a rotation spot. His sleek 2.03 ERA speaks for itself, but behind a regained velocity, Hughes appears to be a different pitcher. The 0.975 WHIP is inspiring, but aside from velocity, whats so different about the young righty? Watching his performances, it appears that Hughes is receiving better results from his breaking pitches, yet isn’t showing lofty strikeout numbers. Curious, I broke down Hughes’ 4 outings this spring, and found some meaningful numbers despite small sample size.

Hughes’ Batted Ball Profile
Batted Ball Results Spring Career
Ground Ball 17 40.5% 35.0%
Fly Ball 19 45.2% 45.2%
Line Drive 6 14.3% 19.8%
Total 42 100.0% 100.0%

As you can tell by the career 45.2% fly ball rate, Phil Hughes has relied on fly outs during his professional career. While fly ball pitchers are successful by keeping less hitters on base than ground ball pitchers, they often give up more extra base hits and homeruns.… Click here to read the rest