Tag Archives: Evan Longoria

Would You Rather?

Last week, Dan put up a post with his pre-season all-AL West team.  Matthew, in the comments, alluded to the lack of star power in the division.  When you look at the list Dan has assembled (which I think is pretty accurate, especially the first team) the amount of stars on the team are a bit underwhelming.

With that in mind, I thought I’d compare Dan’s list to the best players in the AL East (which is the strongest division in my opinion).  These are all my opinions and I’ve based them on prior season stats, sabermetrics, and potential.  I choose to just assemble a first team for both divisions because the topic is star power, not depth.

1st Base
AL West:  Kendry Morales, LAA
AL East:  Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
The Winner:  Gonzalez (AL East)

Overview: I’m pretty high on Morales, I think he is vastly underrated, but Adrian Gonzalez is one of the top players in the game.  Gonzalez edges out Teixeira for the 1st baseman in his division.  Teixeira would be a first teamer in the AL West.

2nd Base
AL West:  Ian Kinsler, TEX
AL East:  Robinson Cano,  NYY
The Winner:  Cano (AL East)

Overview: This one’s a fairly obvious choice also.  Kinsler is a good player, and is an all-star when completely healthy, but Cano is the best 2nd baseman in the league (edging out Utley).  Cano posted a 6.4 WAR in 2010 (he hit .319 with 29 homers while playing decent defense).  Kinsler can post similar offensive numbers when healthy but he’s only played over 130 games once in his career.  Cano has played 159 or more the last 4 seasons.  Maybe in a couple years we’ll be seeing how Ackley stacks up against Cano.  Here’s to hoping.  A healthy Pedroia enters into this conversation, also.

Short-Stop
AL West:  Elvis Andrus, TEX
AL East:  Yunel Escobar, TOR
The Winner:  Andrus (AL West)

Overview: I might take some heat for putting Escobar over Jeter but I put him there because Jeter is one of the worst defensive short-stops in the league, while Escobar is pretty sharp.  The AL East is pretty weak at short-stop and Andrus wins this one easily, based on potential alone.  Both Escobar and Jeter put up WAR’s in the 2’s last year and Andrus put up a WAR of 1.5.  But, if I had to choose one of those 3 players to be on my team this year, I’d take Andrus without question.  His bat will continue to get better, while his defense is superb (unless he has a Yuniesky-type flop).  J.J. Hardy could also sneak into the picture for the East.

3rd Base
AL West:  Adrian Beltre, TEX
AL East:  Evan Longoria, TB

The Winner:  Longoria (AL East)

Overview: The East shows their dominance in this position.  They have Longoria (a top-5 player in the league), A-Rod (a future hall-of-famer, who’s put up at least 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s each of the last 7 seasons), and Kevin Youkilis (who’s more annoying than A-Rod, but just as effective) who each have a strong case to be picked over Beltre.  I love Adrian, he’s one of my favorite players in baseball, but Longoria wins this one easily.

The rest of the positions after the jump.  Continue reading

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Thank You Freddie Garcia!!!!!!

There is something very unique about being a Seattle sports fan. For me, the best way I can describe it, is that even in the rare moments of greatness, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s like finding a $20 bill on the sidewalk, and after picking it up, you’re just waiting to get jumped. I guess that’s just how it is when you’ve yet to see your team hoist a championship. I’m fairly certain my local teams have lowered my life expectancy. And so, I’d like to offer a glass 1/2 full thought, which I for one could use, especially following an evening of flipping between the painful World Series (Lee vs. Lincecum) and the torture chamber that was the NBA opener for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

So, ever wonder how the M’s landed Felix Hernandez? Well here’s the jist, thanks to the always reliable Wikipedia-

Felix Hernandez was first spotted by Luis Fuenmayor, a part-time Mariners scout who saw him pitching at age 14 in a tournament near Maracaibo, Venezuela. Fuenmayor recommended Hernández to fellow scouts Pedro Avila and Emilio Carrasquel, who were impressed with the youngster who could already throw 94 mph. The Mariners continued to follow Hernández for over a year, but baseball rules prohibit teams from signing players to contracts until after they have turned 16.

After graduating from high school, Hernández finally agreed to his first professional contract. Mariners director of international operations Bob Engle signed Hernández as a nondrafted free agent on July 4, 2002. Hernández received a large signing bonus of $710,000, although he said the Mariners were not the highest bidder. Other teams trying to sign him included the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, and the Houston Astros, with the Braves reportedly offering the most money.

One reason Hernández chose the Mariners is because his idol, fellow Venezuela pitcher Freddy García, was pitching for the team at the time.

Much has been made of the Mariners drafting Brandon Morrow in 2006, rather than picking the hometown boy, Tim Lincecum. A lot of fans count to this instance as another example of the curse of Seattle sports. I agree that watching Lincecum pitch stings a little, but keep in mind, 9 teams passed on him that in the 2006 draft, Seattle of course was one of the teams. But how do the Orioles feel picking Bill Rowell just before Lincecum? Or how about the Rockies selecting Greg Reynolds in front of Evan Longoria!

Actually, I find the 2005 draft much more painful as a Mariners fan. Seattle took Jeff Clement with the 3rd pick overall, and the next 4 picks were Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Ricky Romero, Troy Tulowitzki. Wow! But hey, that’s baseball. It’s easy to remember these instances, and forget how we came to have studs like King Felix and Ichiro. Without having Freddie Garcia on our roster, it is very possible that Felix would have taken higher money and landed in New York, Houston, or Atlanta. So maybe we do catch some breaks! And that, is my glass 1/2 full thought today.

-Dan

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The Good Guy’s 2010 MLB Predictions


More predictions after the jump!
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