December 2012

2012 in review: Stats From the Blog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Case for Alan Trammell

Trammell 1Before Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Miguel Tejada, Nomar Garciaparra, and Barry Larkin, there were two shortstops who were dominating offensive forces: Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles and Alan Trammell of the Detroit Tigers.

Cal Ripken won the 1982 AL Rookie of the Year, he broke Lou Gehrig‘s consecutive games played streak, earned two MVP awards (1983, 1991), played in 19 All-Star games (consecutively), and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 (98.5 percent vote…who were the eight voters that didn’t elect him?) in his first year of eligibility. Totally worthy…

However, after Barry Larkin was elected in 2012, his third year of eligibility, Trammell is the best shortstop eligible who is not in the Hall of Fame.

Alan Trammell was a six-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner, and a three-time Silver Slugger winner. He won a World Series and the World Series MVP in 1984, hitting .450 with two home runs and six RBI in the five game series against the San Diego Padres. In Trammell’s 20-year career, he only played in one more playoff series, losing to the Minnesota Twins in five games in 1987.

According to Baseball Reference and the JAWS system, which was created by Jay Jaffe and ranks players their career WAR averaged with their 7-year peak WAR, Alan Trammell is the 11th best shortstop in the history of baseball.

The average Hall of Fame shortstop, of which there are 21, has a career WAR of 63.1, a WAR7 of 41.0, and a JAWS of 52.1.

Trammell had a career WAR of 67.1, a WAR7 of 43.3, and a JAWS of 55.2.

The average shortstop WAR is also increased dramatically by the inclusion of Honus Wagner (126.2 WAR), which makes Trammell’s 67.1 WAR look more average than it really is, thanks to George Wright (24.2) and Phil Rizzuto (38.1) being a part of Cooperstown.

As statistical nerds rejoice at that last bit of information, keep in mind that Trammell had a higher career WAR than Ernie Banks (62.5), Pee Wee Reese (63.1), Luis Aparicio (51.7), Joe Cronin (61.9), Lou Boudreau (59.1), and Bobby Wallace (66.0), while posting the same WAR as Larkin (67.1). All of these players are in the Hall of Fame.

Trammell3Trammell didn’t have 3,000 hits. He didn’t hit 400 home runs. He never had a 30-30 season like the MVP-like Ripken, Rodriguez, and Larkin, but he was great for a long time.

Voters have overlooked Alan Trammell for the last 11 years of Hall of Fame balloting. While Omar Vizquel and his 40.5 WAR are already getting attention for several years down the road and the Steroid Era influx hits the ballots, it is time for voters to open their eyes and look at the résumé of one of the greatest shortstops to have ever played the game…who is still not in the Hall of Fame, receiving a 36.8 percent of the vote in 2012, his highest yet.

Trammell is a Hall of Famer because of the statistics that he put up, the way that he recreated the offensive expectations of a single position, and for the longevity of his greatness (despite several years devastated by injury).

Even while playing more than 130 games over his final nine seasons just once, Trammell had more hits than 14 of 21 Hall of Fame shortstops, and he had more RBI than 12 of 21 Hall of Fame shortstops.

Trammell2Trammell retired in 1996, one year after his double-play partner Lou Whitaker, at the age of 38. Whitaker won’t be a Hall of Famer, though he probably should have been considered, after getting just 2.9 percent of the vote in 2001, but Trammell deserves the vote.

Trammell would have only increased his credentials had he not missed 616 games over his last 10 seasons. His credentials, as they stand, are Cooperstown-worthy. With so many big names on the ballot, Trammell could, very well, be overlooked again. It would be a shame if he never makes it.

Merry Christmas!!!

nativityFrom the Book of Luke:

1

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[c] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[d]

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[e] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.     For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,     and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is for those who fear him     from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm;     he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones     and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things,     and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel,     in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers,     to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

2

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,     and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[c]

The-Nativity-Story-900x60015 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Guest Article: The Great DH Debate

I’m going to introduce myself real quick. My name is Jackson Johnson and I am currently a junior at Jacksonville State University where I am majoring in Economics. I have been an avid baseball fan since I can remember and, I am a frequent reader of not only this blog but also Fangraphs along with many others. Please visit my site, Baseball in the Deep South, to read more about the Atlanta Braves and my opinions on America’s past time.

Bonds1Besides debating whether the alleged use of steroids should keep Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa out of the Hall of Fame, the next great issue argued among baseball fans is the Designated Hitter. I have had this dispute many a times, not only with my friends, but also with random people at the ballpark and in the bar. I still have yet to meet someone who is truly on the fence when it comes to the topic. Every baseball fan is either for or against it and feels the other position is bad for baseball. The steroids debate is in full swing, as it is Hall of Fame voting season, so I thought it would be fun to stir up another heated baseball topic. I am going to look at the main points in each side’s argument more in depth and wrap it up by telling you where I stand on the matter.

Let’s start with the traditionalists first

Against the DH 

  1. It’s not traditional baseball.

Ah, the oldest argument in the book. No, I’m being serious, it actually is. Rule 1.01 of baseball states, and I quote:

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.” 

By this rule, the very first one you encounter when you crack open the baseball rulebook, the American League does not play real baseball. They play pseudo-baseball by adding a tenth man in the Designated Hitter. A pitcher is on the field just like the shortstop, right fielder, first baseman etc. and they should bat just like those players would.

2. Having the DH makes more batters get plunked in the American League versus the National League

In the first chapter of his book, The Baseball Economist, J.C. Bradbury shows how true that statement is due to the simple economic concept of opportunity cost.

There is an unwritten rule in baseball. If you plunk one of our players, then our team will subsequently plunk your pitcher the next time he is at bat as retaliation for pitching too high or inside on our guy. Thus, if a pitcher in the National League wants to plunk a batter or pitch inside to him, he is faced with weighing the cost of getting hit himself when he is due up in the batting order. You take the bat out of the pitcher’s hand, and he might be more likely to throw an inside pitch or some “chin music” as the cost of hitting a batter has just decreased.

Last year, a National League team averaged 48 hit batters in a season, where an American League team average 53 hit batters in a season.

3. It adds an extra element of strategy to the game

Having the pitcher bat gives each team’s manager more to think about and more to plan around.

Imagine, if you will, you are the manager of a national league team, any team. You are playing a game against your division rival and the game is currently tied 1-1, bottom of the sixth. You have runners on second and third with two outs. The game has obviously been a pitching duel so far, so this is your prime opportunity to jump ahead and possibly a turning point in the game. However, your pitcher is due up and you can’t decide what to do with him. He has been quite impressive thus far, only giving up one run through six innings and he could pitch one more solid inning then you will most likely have to turn to your bullpen. This is a great chance to score, and once you pinch-hit for him, he will no longer be allowed to come back into the game. If you don’t pinch hit for him then you most likely miss a great scoring opportunity and what might be a chance to win the game. What do you do?

As you can see, this is scenario and many like it are what National League managers are faced with each week, if not each game. Having the pitcher bat adds strategy and this way brings the manager more into the game.

For the DH 

  1. Keeps pitchers from getting hurt

Pitchers play an integral role in the game. They have the most important job on any team, besides maybe the catcher. Pitchers will always be the weakest hitters on a team because they spend the majority of their time working on their mechanics or strength and conditioning. They get the least amount of time in the batting cage of any player on the team so it will not bode well if we send someone to the plate who won’t know what he is doing. All this creates is an opportunity for one of our best players to get hurt which will severely hinder our team. Having the pitcher bat is not only an automatic out, but also a liability for any team trying to keep their postseason hopes alive.

2. Attracts more fans-offense sells

You want to talk about simple economics, huh? How about this one: supply and demand. No one likes a pitchers duel, except diehard baseball fans. The regular, common fan likes to see offense, and lots of it.

Attendance has been on the rise the last couple of years, and if you take away the feeble-hitting pitcher and replace him with a masher, then offense will increase and so will ticket sales will go up even more. Teams will in turn generate more revenue, thus increasing payroll and the game will be more even. Give the people what they demand. No one likes seeing the pitcher make an out every time he steps up to the plate; it’s boring and certainly won’t sell seats. People flock to NBA and NFL games because they are offense driven. The DH will give baseball a chance to take a big chunk of our their respective fan bases.

Last year the AL had a slash line of .255/.320/.411 and an OPS of .731, the NL amassed a line of .254/.318/.400 with a .718 OPS. Also, the AL hit 179 homers and drove in 688 runs while the NL swatted 159 homers and only drove in 648 runs. If the NL could bring in more offense and make their stats closer to the AL’s, there is not doubt they would also see an increase in attendance and revenue.

3. Creates more jobs for players

Here’s another economic concept that can be applied to the game of baseball.

PujolsWhy do you think that Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols decided to jump leagues and sign with an AL team before the 2012 season? Also, why do you think Josh Hamilton was more inclined to stay in the American League this offseason? Sure, the money played a factor in it, but so did having the DH. They know they’re not superman. In a few years, their bodies and reflexes will wear down and they won’t be able to play in the field every day like they are used to. Having the DH creates more jobs and keeps players’ careers alive longer. A player may not be able to man the hot corner like he used to, but if he can make contact and generate power then he will be a valuable asset to his team as a DH every couple of games. It gives teams more options and lineup choices to help them win.

As you can see, both sides make good points. Before I state what side I am on, I am going to say one more thing. I believe that having the DH in only one league is quite bad for the game. Baseball needs to do away with having one league DH and the other league non-DH and make it equal across the board. A rift is created between the two leagues and makes the difference between them noticeable. The point of the DH creating jobs is exactly why this rift exists in the first place. If you look at the Pujols and Fielder example, then you see more big time free agents will be more inclined to go to the American League as they will be presented with being able to DH every couple of days instead of having to play in the field every day in order to hit. Having the DH in only one league creates an unlevel playing field.

With that being said, I do not like the DH. Citing the arguments above, I believe it is not real, traditional baseball, and just like any other player on the diamond, the pitcher should be required to have a turn in the batting order whenever his team is at bat. To illustrate my point, I present to you, the case of Alex Gonzalez.

Many of you know Alex Gonzalez. He not only is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, but was also on the 2003 Marlins World Series team, the one that participated in the infamous Steve Bartman game. He owes a puny .247/.292/.399 slash line accompanied with a career 4.8 BB% and a 18.7 K%. Despite these pitiful offensive numbers, he has managed to find work over the years, as he is known for having a slick-fielding glove. Now imagine this: what if in 2011, when he played for my beloved Atlanta Braves, upon taking the lineup card out to the umpire, Fredi Gonzalez said:

You know what? Gonzalez is a great defender and we love having him in the field, he does a lot for our team out there, but his bat isn’t worth anything, so we’re just going to have Eric Hinske bat for him when his turn in the lineup comes.

Is that not the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard/read? To me, that is what happens with the designated hitter. Yes, the pitcher plays a valuable role on the team, if not the most important, but he still deserves to bat just like any other player. This is because, just like any other player, he is in the field. You want to have another player come hit for your pitcher? That’s fine, but now your pitcher will not be allowed to return to the game.

As an economics major, I do realize the importance of supply and demand and, I do realized more fans want to see offense and not a pitcher’s duel. I know that while attendance has jumped the last two seasons, baseball still needs to find a way to boost ticket sales as the economy is still stagnant. Yes, I do see the writing on the wall. Major League Baseball does want to use the DH in both leagues, as shown by the Astros moving to the American League next year, evening both leagues out at 15 teams apiece. Yes, I do realize I am fighting a losing battle

However, I believe it is somewhat contradictory, as baseball has lagged behind in the field of expanded replay because the traditional way of umpires and no replay is how they’ve always done things, yet, they chose the less traditional route when it came to the DH.

I would like to thank Mr. Vogel for this writing opportunity. Feel free to continue the debate in the comments, and if you enjoyed this article then be sure to check out more of my writing at Baseball in the Deep South, an Atlanta Braves Blog. I wish you and your family a very safe and Merry Christmas.

The Legend of Bo Jackson: What Might Have Been…

jackson3If you grew up in the late 1980’s, you know that there should be a pagan holiday to celebrate Bo Jackson as the God of Tecmo Bowl. If you thought that the 4.12 40-yard dash that he ran at the 1986 NFL Combine was crazy or inaccurate, the 4.18 that he ran within a week shows the genetic freakness of the two-sport star.

In football, not just video games, Bo Jackson was very special, sharing carries in the Raiders backfield with Marcus Allen. Jackson averaged 5.4 yards per carry over his career, scoring 16 touchdowns in just 38 games over his four-year career, while rushing for 2,782 yards on 515 carries. He just couldn’t stay healthy, with a hip injury ultimately ruining both his football and baseball career, thanks a lot Kevin Walker.

jackson2On the diamond, Bo Jackson was fun to watch. His football speed transitioned well to baseball when he was stealing bases, but, surprisingly, he was below average defensively, compiling a -4.7 dWAR over his eight-year baseball career, which wasn’t necessarily the result of his hip issues, either, as his lone positive dWAR came in 1993 (0.1) with the Chicago White Sox.

From 1987 to 1990, Bo Jackson was at his best, ripping 107 home runs, 64 doubles, 13 triples, and stealing 78 bases. Those are solid totals over four seasons, but his .252/.308/.487 line and striking out in 34.4 percent of his at-bats really limited his value, as Jackson put up a total WAR of 8.5 over those four seasons. To put that into perspective, Wade Boggs had a 30.8 WAR, Rickey Henderson had a 30.5 WAR, Alan Trammell had a 23.4 WAR, and Steve Sax had a 9.2 WAR.

So, while baseball wasn’t built upon nerdy statistics during that era, you have two Hall of Fame players (Boggs and Henderson), one player who should be in the Hall of Fame (Trammell), and a guy who many will overlook as a nobody (Sax), who outperformed Jackson tremendously, in most cases from 1987 through 1990.

So, how good could Jackson have become?

Jackson was still in his prime in 1991 when he was injured in the NFL playoffs against Cincinnti, just 28 years old. Jackson came back late in the 1991 season with the Chicago White Sox before missing all of the 1992 season after having his hip replaced.

Had the injury never have happened and we manipulate statistics, we are going to make a prediction about Bo Jackson’s baseball career…

Using the gains that he showed with his plate discipline in 1990 (9.5 percent walk rate and a 28.1 percent strikeout rate, a 2.6 percent increase in walks and decrease in strikeouts from 1989, his lone All-Star season), as well as his power gains over this time (AB/HR, IF/FB, HR %) Jackson would have continued on those gains for roughly four years before beginning his decline in 1995 at the age of 32. From that point on, we will decrease his walk rate and increase his strikeout rate by 3-percent each season for four seasons, while his power numbers decreases by 10-percent each season, and his batting average by 5-percent. This will allow Jackson to retire after his age-36 season in 1999 with dignity. Using a 162-game season average of 613 plate appearances, you’ll see Bo Jackson’s totals below (keep in mind that he never played in more than 135 games in a season):

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
1991 613 539 148 18 2 39 74 156 0.275 0.362 0.532 0.894
1992 613 523 145 16 1 41 90 140 0.278 0.383 0.564 0.947
1993 613 507 142 13 1 43 106 124 0.281 0.405 0.582 0.987
1994 613 491 139 11 0 45 122 108 0.284 0.426 0.580 1.006
1995 613 509 137 15 0 40 104 126 0.270 0.393 0.534 0.927
1996 613 528 135 16 2 36 85 145 0.257 0.359 0.498 0.857
1997 613 546 130 17 1 32 67 163 0.239 0.321 0.449 0.770
1998 613 565 128 16 0 28 48 182 0.226 0.287 0.389 0.676
1999 613 583 124 18 0 25 30 190 0.212 0.251 0.372 0.623
Totals 5517 4791 1228 140 7 329 726 1334 0.256 0.354 0.493 0.847

The numbers above would have required Jackson to continue the gains that he showed in plate discipline in 1990 for several years. The additional contact would provide the power and the power takes away from the speed game that Jackson had. However, Jackson was absolutely ripped physically and was more than capable of becoming one of the most feared power-hitters in the game.

Realistic numbers or not, Jackson would have been one of the weaker candidates for the Hall of Fame if he were to have retired after the 1999 season. While his homerun total of 438 would have been impressive, would it have looked as fantastic with Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Sammy Sosa posting the numbers that they were at that time? And a .256 career average?

jackson1What might have been with Bo Jackson is pretty impressive. The hip issues that robbed him of his fame and athleticism were devastating. We have seen it happen before, though…Tony Conigliaro with the hit-by-pitch to the eye or Mickey Mantle and his knees. People who had the opportunity to see those types of players can tell stories about how great they may have been.

People of the 1980’s and 1990’s don’t need real statistics to know how special Bo Jackson was and how great he could have become. While he won’t be in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or Canton, we’ll always have Tecmo Bowl.

Are the Royals Good Enough to “Go for It”?

ShieldsKansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore apparently thinks that his team is good enough to win within the next two years. That has to be the case after Moore traded one of the best prospects in baseball, Wil Myers, with RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery, and 3B Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays for two years of RHP James Shields and RHP Wade Davis.

For whatever reason, the Royals looked like they were going to go with Jeff Francoeur in right field in 2013, despite Myers ripping 37 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. Was Myers expendable at the cost of playing Francoeur, who, after posting a .665 OPS in 2012, is in the final year of his contract in 2013?

While Kansas City has Wade Davis under contract through 2017, one has to wonder if he is really a starting pitcher. Davis posted a 2.43 ERA over 54 appearances and 70.1 innings, posting an 87:29 K:BB pitching only out of the bullpen in 2012. Prior to last season, Davis was 25-22 with a 4.22 ERA in 64 career starts, posting a 254:138 K:BB in 388.1 innings for the Rays.

While James Shields has a 31-22 record and a 3.15 ERA over the last two seasons, posting a 448:123 K:BB in 477 innings, Davis will be the wildcard in this deal, especially considering the amount of young controllable talent the Royals gave up in the deal.

Beyond the trade is the makeup of the current Royals roster. Is it championship caliber? Can the Royals compete with the Tigers, who have reloaded the pitching staff by re-signing Anibal Sanchez, teaming him with Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer to form one of the top pitching staffs in baseball, while still packing the Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera punch?

The Royals will need more than a couple of dynamic seasons out of Shields and Davis to make it work. Moore acquired Ervin Santana from the Los Angeles Angels, while committing $25 million over three years to journeyman Jeremy Guthrie. Can Shields, Davis, Santana, Guthrie, and Will Smith, Luke Hochevar, or Bruce Chen be enough to become a contender?

The answer will lie in the bats of the young stars on the Royals roster. Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon, and Eric Hosmer have shown glimpses of superstardom, while mixing in a lot of inconsistencies. Shortstop Alcides Escobar looks like he is heading towards becoming a star, while catcher Salvador Perez looks to be on the same track. Designated Hitter Billy Butler is the leader of the team and all he does is hit. If the team gets a little consistency out of Moustakas, Gordon, and Hosmer, while hoping that Lorenzo Cain stays healthy in center and Francoeur looks like a baseball player again (like he did in 2011 when he posted an .805 OPS), the Royals may have enough to compete.

However, the Royals are a small-market team. If the team is able to create extreme revenue with a new TV contract, then this type of trade makes sense, but it is unlikely that the team will have the cash to re-sign Shields after the 2014 season, if he is even worth re-signing at that point. Is that worth the seven years of Myers, Odorizzi, and Montgomery?

The Royals have positioned themselves well by acquiring a lot of veteran arms to upgrade their rotation; however, Davis, Guthrie, and Santana aren’t models of consistency. If each of their starters reach their peak levels of performance, they could very well become a true force in a weak AL Central. They will need a lot of help from their young position players, though.

The Royals will be good enough to compete with the Detroit Tigers if Mike Moustakas hits like he did in the minors, if Eric Hosmer hits like he did in his rookie year, if Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez continue hitting like they did in 2012, if Lorenzo Cain and Jeff Francoeur do anything, and if Billy Butler keeps hitting like the All-Star that he is.

Those are a lot of if’s.

myersBecause of all of those if’s, the Royals are going to regret the trade of Myers, Odorizzi, and Montgomery. While we’ve seen many Brandon Wood, Brandon Larson, and Corey Patterson-types get hyped and fail, we’ve also seen the Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Miguel Cabrera-types get hyped and exceed expectations. For a team who can’t land the top free agents, dealing away all of that potential for two years of a reliable arm and five years of a wildcard is and will be a huge mistake.

Some teams just need to remember who and what they are. With so many teams banking on revenue streams increasing, MLB could have parity like the NFL in coming years…but they could also have owners who are shy to spend due to the market limitations. Kansas City has been shy to spend for so many years that they can’t be counted on to start anytime soon. They weren’t close enough to a championship to make a deal like the one that they did with the Rays.

daytonThat will be Dayton Moore’s legacy…unfortunately.

Indians Stuff, 12/20/12

IndiansI write about the Indians over at www.wahoosonfirst.com and Bleacher Report when I’m not writing things here. You should check these out, just in case you need something to read while the sky is falling due to a lazy Mayan:

Who is going to DH for the Indians with the current roster? http://wahoosonfirst.com/2012/12/20/who-will-be-tribes-dh-in-2013/

Thoughts on the Indians’ acquisition of Mark Reynolds and Trevor Bauer:

http://wahoosonfirst.com/2012/12/13/on-mark-reynolds-trevor-bauer-and-the-indians-new-direction/

Should the Reds and Indians do a Chris Perez for Devin Mesoraco Trade?

http://wahoosonfirst.com/2012/12/03/could-indians-reds-trade-chris-perez-for-devin-mesoraco/

Three pretend trades that the Indians should try to make:

http://wahoosonfirst.com/2012/11/19/three-trades-the-cleveland-indians-should-make/

2013 Indians Batting Order:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1448795-mlb-indians-projecting-the-2013-batting-order

How many wins is Terry Francona worth?

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1443626-mlb-how-many-wins-can-new-cleveland-indians-manager-terry-francona-produce

Seven starting pitchers that the Indians should target:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1430156-mlb-7-available-starting-pitchers-to-complete-the-ideal-2013-indians-rotation

Why the Indians can win now with Terry Francona:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1429424-mlb-why-the-indians-can-win-now-with-terry-francona

Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2013

Courtesy: ESPN.com

Courtesy: ESPN.com

Below you’ll find the top 100 prospects in baseball. The top 25 have a short write-up and their career minor league statistics. I am not a major league scout, I am just a baseball fan/nerd who follows all levels. If someone is missing, feel free to make your opinions known in the comments section, but be prepared to get mocked for being a troll!

1) Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers, SS

Profar is the perfect blend of raw power, speed, and on-base skills, and it is all packed into a 19-year-old excelling in the upper levels of the minors. There are rumors that he could be called up to help the Rangers down the stretch, but it would be a shame to have him come off of the bench considering he is probably one of their top five players when he arrives in Arlington. It will be interesting to see where the Rangers work him in with Andrus and Kinsler around.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 17 A- 63 252 42 63 19 0 4 23 8 28 46 .250 .323 .373 .696
2011 18 A 115 430 86 123 37 8 12 65 23 65 63 .286 .390 .493 .883
2012 19 AA 126 480 76 135 26 7 14 62 16 66 79 .281 .368 .452 .820
3 Seasons 304 1162 204 321 82 15 30 150 47 159 188 .276 .367 .450 .817
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.
Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

2) Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles, RHP

It will be interesting what Bundy can do when the O’s take their chains off and let him loose. He just recently reached the sixth inning in a start for the first time. He is well on his way to becoming an ace, and he could reach the Majors by the middle of next year.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2012 19 A+-A-AA 9 3 2.08 23 23 103.2 67 29 24 6 28 119 0.916
2012 19 A 1 0 0.00 8 8 30.0 5 2 0 0 2 40 0.233
2012 19 A+ 6 3 2.84 12 12 57.0 48 20 18 5 18 66 1.158
2012 19 AA 2 0 3.24 3 3 16.2 14 7 6 1 8 13 1.320
1 Season 9 3 2.08 23 23 103.2 67 29 24 6 28 119 0.916
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

3) Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays, OF

For whatever reason, Myers was “blocked” in Kansas City by Jeff Francoeur. The Royals moved the slugging outfielder in the James Shields trade, immediately becoming one of the Rays cornerstone players. He should be the starting right fielder in 2013, with Desmond Jennings in center and Matt Joyce sliding over to right. His right-handed bat fits nicely in the middle of the order, as he and Evan Longoria will sandwich Ben Zobrist.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 18 Rk 22 84 19 31 7 2 5 18 2 9 18 .369 .427 .679 1.106
2009 18 Rk 18 68 18 29 7 1 4 14 2 9 15 .426 .488 .735 1.223
2009 18 Rk 4 16 1 2 0 1 1 4 0 0 3 .125 .125 .438 .563
2010 19 A-A+ 126 447 70 141 37 3 14 83 12 85 94 .315 .429 .506 .934
2010 19 A 68 242 42 70 19 1 10 45 10 48 55 .289 .408 .500 .908
2010 19 A+ 58 205 28 71 18 2 4 38 2 37 39 .346 .453 .512 .966
2011 20 AA 99 354 50 90 23 1 8 49 9 52 87 .254 .353 .393 .745
2012 21 AAA-AA 134 522 98 164 26 6 37 109 6 61 140 .314 .387 .600 .987
2012 21 AA 35 134 32 46 11 1 13 30 4 16 42 .343 .414 .731 1.146
2012 21 AAA 99 388 66 118 15 5 24 79 2 45 98 .304 .378 .554 .932
4 Seasons 381 1407 237 426 93 12 64 259 29 207 339 .303 .395 .522 .917
AA (2 seasons) AA 134 488 82 136 34 2 21 79 13 68 129 .279 .369 .486 .855
Rk (1 season) Rk 22 84 19 31 7 2 5 18 2 9 18 .369 .427 .679 1.106
A (1 season) A 68 242 42 70 19 1 10 45 10 48 55 .289 .408 .500 .908
AAA (1 season) AAA 99 388 66 118 15 5 24 79 2 45 98 .304 .378 .554 .932
A+ (1 season) A+ 58 205 28 71 18 2 4 38 2 37 39 .346 .453 .512 .966
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.
Courtesy: stlouiscardinalsbaseball.com

Courtesy: stlouiscardinalsbaseball.com

4) Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals, OF

He has been called the next Vladimir Guerrero…as long as his knees don’t deteriorate late in his career, that would make Taveras a near Hall of Fame player. Taveras is a hitter, pure and simple. He may only get better as he matures, which makes him a huge asset for the Cardinals moving forward. He could force management’s hands and get a shot at an everyday job in the spring of 2013.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 17 FRk 65 237 35 61 13 8 1 42 9 28 36 .257 .338 .392 .731
2010 18 Rk 60 241 40 73 14 3 8 45 9 13 46 .303 .342 .485 .828
2010 18 Rk 53 211 39 68 13 3 8 43 8 12 41 .322 .362 .526 .889
2010 18 Rk 7 30 1 5 1 0 0 2 1 1 5 .167 .194 .200 .394
2011 19 A 78 308 52 119 27 5 8 62 1 32 52 .386 .444 .584 1.028
2012 20 AA 124 477 83 153 37 7 23 94 10 42 56 .321 .380 .572 .953
4 Seasons 327 1263 210 406 91 23 40 243 29 115 190 .321 .381 .525 .906
Rk (1 season) Rk 60 241 40 73 14 3 8 45 9 13 46 .303 .342 .485 .828
A (1 season) A 78 308 52 119 27 5 8 62 1 32 52 .386 .444 .584 1.028
AA (1 season) AA 124 477 83 153 37 7 23 94 10 42 56 .321 .380 .572 .953
FRk (1 season) FRk 65 237 35 61 13 8 1 42 9 28 36 .257 .338 .392 .731
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

5) Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox, SS

I have him higher than most, but give me a 19-year-old who can post these numbers any day of the week. Bogaerts is still playing shortstop, but he will end up at third base or be forced elsewhere due to the presense of Will  Middlebrooks. Powerful, young, projectable frame. Bogaerts will be a total offensive monster.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 17 FRk 63 239 39 75 7 5 3 42 4 30 37 .314 .396 .423 .819
2011 18 A 72 265 38 69 14 2 16 45 1 25 71 .260 .324 .509 .834
2012 19 A+-AA 127 476 71 146 37 3 20 81 5 44 106 .307 .373 .523 .896
2012 19 A+ 104 384 59 116 27 3 15 64 4 43 85 .302 .378 .505 .883
2012 19 AA 23 92 12 30 10 0 5 17 1 1 21 .326 .351 .598 .948
3 Seasons 262 980 148 290 58 10 39 168 10 99 214 .296 .366 .495 .861
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

6) Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians, RHP

For all of his poor warm-up practices, the fact remains that Bauer has an elite arm. He has trouble with command, but he posts ace-level strikeout potential. Moving to a pitcher’s environment in Cleveland from Arizona should make dynasty fantasy geeks drool at his potential. The Indians stole him by getting him for Didi Gregorius, Lars Anderson, and Tony Sipp. He’ll be their No. 1 starter sooner than one may think.

Year Age Lev W L W-L% ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2011 20 AA-A+ 1 2 .333 5.96 7 7 25.2 27 17 17 3 12 43 1.519
2011 20 A+ 0 1 .000 3.00 3 3 9.0 7 3 3 1 4 17 1.222
2011 20 AA 1 1 .500 7.56 4 4 16.2 20 14 14 2 8 26 1.680
2012 21 AAA-AA 12 2 .857 2.42 22 22 130.1 107 40 35 9 61 157 1.289
2012 21 AA 7 1 .875 1.68 8 8 48.1 33 12 9 1 26 60 1.221
2012 21 AAA 5 1 .833 2.85 14 14 82.0 74 28 26 8 35 97 1.329
2 Seasons 13 4 .765 3.00 29 29 156.0 134 57 52 12 73 200 1.327
AA (2 seasons) AA 8 2 .800 3.18 12 12 65.0 53 26 23 3 34 86 1.338
AAA (1 season) AAA 5 1 .833 2.85 14 14 82.0 74 28 26 8 35 97 1.329
A+ (1 season) A+ 0 1 .000 3.00 3 3 9.0 7 3 3 1 4 17 1.222
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

7) Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates, RHP

Cole still has more stuff than impressive results at this poing in his career, but the stuff could be so dominant, that you have to hold out hope that he figures things out. For a guy who can throw a 90 mph change and curve while topping out in triple-digits with his fastball, you would expect more dominance in his strikeout totals. If he figures it out, he could be #2 behind Profar on this list.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2012 21 A+-AA-AAA 9 7 2.80 26 26 132.0 113 55 41 7 45 136 1.197
2012 21 A+ 5 1 2.55 13 13 67.0 53 24 19 5 21 69 1.104
2012 21 AA 3 6 2.90 12 12 59.0 54 28 19 2 23 60 1.305
2012 21 AAA 1 0 4.50 1 1 6.0 6 3 3 0 1 7 1.167
1 Season 9 7 2.80 26 26 132.0 113 55 41 7 45 136 1.197
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

8) Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners, RHP

The Mariners pushed Walker by having him skip the dreaded California League, allowing him to thrive without being destroyed by the thin air and small parks of High-A. Having just turned 20, Walker has posted some solid numbers. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be a nice addition to the Mariners rotation in the coming years. He isn’t Felix  Hernandez and won’t come close to him, but how many pitchers can?

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2010 17 Rk 1 1 1.29 4 0 7.0 2 3 1 0 3 9 0.714
2011 18 A 6 5 2.89 18 18 96.2 69 33 31 4 39 113 1.117
2012 19 AA 7 10 4.69 25 25 126.2 124 70 66 12 50 118 1.374
3 Seasons 14 16 3.83 47 43 230.1 195 106 98 16 92 240 1.246
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

9) Danny Hultzen, Seattle Mariners, LHP

Hultzen may just be what he is right now and nothing more, but that is still good. He will throw strikes and toss a lot of innings while having some great success. The college arm will be ready by next season and he could get a look early in the spring, but he will settle in nicely among a group of solid young arms that the M’s are developing. With the Jason Vargas trade, his arrival may have just been pushed forward a bit.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2012 22 AA-AAA 9 7 3.05 25 25 124.0 87 49 42 4 75 136 1.306
2012 22 AA 8 3 1.19 13 13 75.1 38 14 10 2 32 79 0.929
2012 22 AAA 1 4 5.92 12 12 48.2 49 35 32 2 43 57 1.890
1 Season 9 7 3.05 25 25 124.0 87 49 42 4 75 136 1.306
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

10) Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates, RHP

Taillon has been hyped with very little as far as results. He has looked pretty good for a 20-year-old in High-A, but if he is an ace like others say he is, you have to expect more. He is coming along nicely, but he could be more of a mid-rotation arm than an ace. He still has time, though.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2011 19 A 2 3 3.98 23 23 92.2 89 45 41 9 22 97 1.198
2012 20 A+-AA 9 8 3.55 26 26 142.0 120 60 56 10 38 116 1.113
2012 20 A+ 6 8 3.82 23 23 125.0 109 57 53 10 37 98 1.168
2012 20 AA 3 0 1.59 3 3 17.0 11 3 3 0 1 18 0.706
2 Seasons 11 11 3.72 49 49 234.2 209 105 97 19 60 213 1.146
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

11) Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds, OF

Hamilton was moved off of shortstop due to Zack Cozart’s success in his rookie season in 2012, and with Drew Stubbs gone and a one-year rental of Shin-Soo Choo, Hamilton should be ready for 2014. His speed is game-changing and he increased his on-base skills tremendously in 2012. He will be entertaining to watch, even if he gets on at a .320-clip in the majors. He looks like he will be better than that, though.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 18 Rk 43 166 19 34 6 3 0 11 14 11 47 .205 .253 .277 .530
2010 19 Rk 69 283 61 90 13 10 2 24 48 28 56 .318 .383 .456 .839
2011 20 A 135 550 99 153 18 9 3 50 103 52 133 .278 .340 .360 .700
2012 21 A+-AA 132 512 112 159 22 14 2 45 155 86 113 .311 .410 .420 .830
2012 21 A+ 82 337 79 109 18 9 1 30 104 50 70 .323 .413 .439 .852
2012 21 AA 50 175 33 50 4 5 1 15 51 36 43 .286 .406 .383 .789
4 Seasons 379 1511 291 436 59 36 7 130 320 177 349 .289 .364 .389 .753
Rk (2 seasons) Rk 112 449 80 124 19 13 2 35 62 39 103 .276 .336 .390 .726
A (1 season) A 135 550 99 153 18 9 3 50 103 52 133 .278 .340 .360 .700
AA (1 season) AA 50 175 33 50 4 5 1 15 51 36 43 .286 .406 .383 .789
A+ (1 season) A+ 82 337 79 109 18 9 1 30 104 50 70 .323 .413 .439 .852
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

12) Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals, RHP

Miller has fallen out of favor with the Cardinals organization due to conditioning and other issues which continue to go unannounced. He has struggled in 2012 in the Pacific Coast League, which is notoriously a hitter’s league. He still has a bright future, but he could be someone who gets dealt if he continues to upset the Cards, who practically gave away Colby  Rasmus due to his “issues.”

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2009 18 A 0 0 6.00 2 2 3.0 5 3 2 0 2 2 2.333
2010 19 A 7 5 3.62 24 24 104.1 97 51 42 7 33 140 1.246
2011 20 AA-A+ 11 6 2.77 25 25 139.2 112 48 43 4 53 170 1.181
2011 20 A+ 2 3 2.89 9 9 53.0 40 20 17 2 20 81 1.132
2011 20 AA 9 3 2.70 16 16 86.2 72 28 26 2 33 89 1.212
2012 21 AAA 11 10 4.74 27 27 136.2 138 78 72 24 50 160 1.376
4 Seasons 29 21 3.73 78 78 383.2 352 180 159 35 138 472 1.277
A (2 seasons) A 7 5 3.69 26 26 107.1 102 54 44 7 35 142 1.276
AA (1 season) AA 9 3 2.70 16 16 86.2 72 28 26 2 33 89 1.212
AAA (1 season) AAA 11 10 4.74 27 27 136.2 138 78 72 24 50 160 1.376
A+ (1 season) A+ 2 3 2.89 9 9 53.0 40 20 17 2 20 81 1.132
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

13) Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves, RHP

There were rumors that Teheran’s breaking ball wasn’t up to par. There are also rumors that his attitude was shaky due to being sent to the minors. Whatever went on with him in 2012, it is cause for concern. His numbers in Triple-A were pretty awful, and his brief opportunities in Atlanta haven’t gone well, either. Teheran is still a top-flight prospect, but due to this bump in the road, he may not have what it takes to be an ace. He still has some work to do.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2008 17 Rk 1 2 6.60 6 6 15.0 18 12 11 2 4 17 1.467
2009 18 Rk-A 3 4 3.65 14 14 81.1 78 37 33 4 18 67 1.180
2009 18 Rk 2 1 2.68 7 7 43.2 36 17 13 2 7 39 0.985
2009 18 A 1 3 4.78 7 7 37.2 42 20 20 2 11 28 1.407
2010 19 A+-AA-A 9 8 2.59 24 24 142.2 108 45 41 9 40 159 1.037
2010 19 A 2 2 1.14 7 7 39.1 23 8 5 1 10 45 0.839
2010 19 A+ 4 4 2.98 10 10 63.1 56 22 21 6 13 76 1.089
2010 19 AA 3 2 3.38 7 7 40.0 29 15 15 2 17 38 1.150
2011 20 AAA 15 3 2.55 25 24 144.2 123 46 41 5 48 122 1.182
2012 21 AAA 7 9 5.08 26 26 131.0 146 81 74 18 43 97 1.443
5 Seasons 35 26 3.50 95 94 514.2 473 221 200 38 153 462 1.216
A (2 seasons) A 3 5 2.92 14 14 77.0 65 28 25 3 21 73 1.117
Rk (2 seasons) Rk 3 3 3.68 13 13 58.2 54 29 24 4 11 56 1.108
AAA (2 seasons) AAA 22 12 3.75 51 50 275.2 269 127 115 23 91 219 1.306
AA (1 season) AA 3 2 3.38 7 7 40.0 29 15 15 2 17 38 1.150
A+ (1 season) A+ 4 4 2.98 10 10 63.1 56 22 21 6 13 76 1.089
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

14) Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals, RHP

Martinez is compared to Pedro Martinez due to his electric stuff and his size. Between the comparisons of Martinez and Oscar Taveras, the Cards have a couple of potential Hall of Famers, huh? Martinez’s strikeouts were down a bit in 2012, but he was 20 and pitching in Double-A, putting up some impressive numbers. He could return to Double-A in 2013 to start the season, but he’ll be someone to watch closely in coming years, as he has ace potential.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2010 18 FRk 3 2 0.76 12 12 59.0 28 8 5 1 14 78 0.712
2011 19 A+-A 6 5 3.93 18 18 84.2 76 41 37 3 44 98 1.417
2011 19 A 3 2 2.33 8 8 38.2 27 10 10 1 14 50 1.060
2011 19 A+ 3 3 5.28 10 10 46.0 49 31 27 2 30 48 1.717
2012 20 AA-A+ 6 5 2.93 22 21 104.1 91 39 34 6 32 92 1.179
2012 20 A+ 2 2 3.00 7 7 33.0 29 12 11 0 10 34 1.182
2012 20 AA 4 3 2.90 15 14 71.1 62 27 23 6 22 58 1.178
3 Seasons 15 12 2.76 52 51 248.0 195 88 76 10 90 268 1.149
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 5 5 4.33 17 17 79.0 78 43 38 2 40 82 1.494
A (1 season) A 3 2 2.33 8 8 38.2 27 10 10 1 14 50 1.060
AA (1 season) AA 4 3 2.90 15 14 71.1 62 27 23 6 22 58 1.178
FRk (1 season) FRk 3 2 0.76 12 12 59.0 28 8 5 1 14 78 0.712
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

15) Tyler Skaggs, Arizona Diamondbacks, LHP

Skaggs overtook Trevor  Bauer as the club’s future ace, which made dumping Bauer due to his odd techniques a bit easier. He has command of his pitches and has posted incredible numbers the last two seasons. The Diamondbacks have solid depth at starting pitcher, but Skaggs should get a look in 2013.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2009 17 Rk 0 0 1.80 5 2 10.0 9 4 2 0 2 13 1.100
2009 17 Rk 0 0 4.50 2 0 4.0 5 4 2 0 1 6 1.500
2009 17 Rk 0 0 0.00 3 2 6.0 4 0 0 0 1 7 0.833
2010 18 A 9 5 3.29 23 18 98.1 91 38 36 7 25 102 1.180
2010 18 A 8 4 3.61 19 14 82.1 78 35 33 6 21 82 1.202
2010 18 A 9 5 3.29 23 18 98.1 91 38 36 7 25 102 1.180
2010 18 A 1 1 1.69 4 4 16.0 13 3 3 1 4 20 1.062
2011 19 A+-AA 9 6 2.96 27 27 158.1 126 59 52 10 49 198 1.105
2011 19 A+ 5 5 3.22 17 17 100.2 81 39 36 6 34 125 1.142
2011 19 AA 4 1 2.50 10 10 57.2 45 20 16 4 15 73 1.040
2012 20 AA-AAA 9 6 2.87 22 22 122.1 112 49 39 12 37 116 1.218
2012 20 AA 5 4 2.84 13 13 69.2 63 27 22 8 21 71 1.206
2012 20 AAA 4 2 2.91 9 9 52.2 49 22 17 4 16 45 1.234
4 Seasons 27 17 2.98 77 69 389.0 338 150 129 29 113 429 1.159
A (1 season) A 9 5 3.29 23 18 98.1 91 38 36 7 25 102 1.180
AA (2 seasons) AA 9 5 2.69 23 23 127.1 108 47 38 12 36 144 1.131
Rk (1 season) Rk 0 0 1.80 5 2 10.0 9 4 2 0 2 13 1.100
AAA (1 season) AAA 4 2 2.91 9 9 52.2 49 22 17 4 16 45 1.234
A+ (1 season) A+ 5 5 3.22 17 17 100.2 81 39 36 6 34 125 1.142
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

16) Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets, C

D’Arnaud  missed time due to a torn PCL that he suffered in late June. His strikeout rate was pretty alarming, but the power numbers and on-base totals were pretty impressive, still. D’Arnaud could be an offensive force for the Mets, who snagged the catcher from Toronto trade. J.P.  Arencibias presence  ahead of him, and, for some reason, the  re-signing of Jeff  Mathis for two-years, $3 million (throwing away money?), made d’Arnaud expendable in Toronto, and David Wright better be praying that d’Arnaud establishes himself quickly because the Mets look awful outside of Wright and Ike Davis.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2007 18 Rk 41 141 18 34 3 0 4 20 4 4 23 .241 .278 .348 .626
2008 19 A–A 64 239 33 73 18 1 6 30 1 23 39 .305 .367 .464 .831
2008 19 A- 48 175 21 54 13 1 4 25 1 18 29 .309 .371 .463 .833
2008 19 A 16 64 12 19 5 0 2 5 0 5 10 .297 .357 .469 .826
2009 20 A 126 482 71 123 38 1 13 71 8 41 75 .255 .319 .419 .738
2010 21 A+ 71 263 36 68 20 1 6 38 3 20 63 .259 .315 .411 .726
2011 22 AA 114 424 72 132 33 1 21 78 4 33 100 .311 .371 .542 .914
2012 23 AAA 67 279 45 93 21 2 16 52 1 19 59 .333 .380 .595 .975
6 Seasons 483 1828 275 523 133 6 66 289 21 140 359 .286 .343 .474 .816
A (2 seasons) A 142 546 83 142 43 1 15 76 8 46 85 .260 .323 .425 .748
AA (1 season) AA 114 424 72 132 33 1 21 78 4 33 100 .311 .371 .542 .914
Rk (1 season) Rk 41 141 18 34 3 0 4 20 4 4 23 .241 .278 .348 .626
A- (1 season) A- 48 175 21 54 13 1 4 25 1 18 29 .309 .371 .463 .833
AAA (1 season) AAA 67 279 45 93 21 2 16 52 1 19 59 .333 .380 .595 .975
A+ (1 season) A+ 71 263 36 68 20 1 6 38 3 20 63 .259 .315 .411 .726
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

17) Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins, 3B

28 home runs at the age of 19 with a drastic improvement in his walk rate is all that you need to know about Sano. He does strike out a lot, but that is typical of power hitters, especially those that are this young. Minnesota fans should be excited about Sano, although he is probably two to three years away.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 17 Rk-FRk 61 212 34 65 16 1 7 29 4 24 60 .307 .379 .491 .870
2010 17 FRk 20 64 11 22 2 1 3 10 2 14 17 .344 .463 .547 1.009
2010 17 Rk 41 148 23 43 14 0 4 19 2 10 43 .291 .338 .466 .804
2011 18 Rk 66 267 58 78 18 7 20 59 5 23 77 .292 .352 .637 .988
2012 19 A 129 457 75 118 28 4 28 100 8 80 144 .258 .373 .521 .893
3 Seasons 256 936 167 261 62 12 55 188 17 127 281 .279 .368 .547 .915
Rk (2 seasons) Rk 107 415 81 121 32 7 24 78 7 33 120 .292 .347 .576 .922
A (1 season) A 129 457 75 118 28 4 28 100 8 80 144 .258 .373 .521 .893
FRk (1 season) FRk 20 64 11 22 2 1 3 10 2 14 17 .344 .463 .547 1.009
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

18) Mike Olt, Texas Rangers, 1B/3B

Olt arrived in the Majors to showcase his power at the corners in 2012, though he didn’t get much of an opportunity. He was rumored in potential deals for the Rangers, but they may be better off keeping him and putting him at first base. He is ready to mash, like the Rangers needed more offense…

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 21 A- 69 263 57 77 16 1 9 43 6 40 77 .293 .390 .464 .854
2011 22 A+-Rk 73 254 41 67 15 0 15 46 0 49 75 .264 .381 .500 .881
2011 22 Rk 4 14 2 3 0 0 1 4 0 1 5 .214 .267 .429 .695
2011 22 A+ 69 240 39 64 15 0 14 42 0 48 70 .267 .387 .504 .891
2012 23 AA 95 354 65 102 17 1 28 82 4 61 101 .288 .398 .579 .977
3 Seasons 237 871 163 246 48 2 52 171 10 150 253 .282 .391 .521 .912
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

19) Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins, 1B

Yelich is a pure hitter, much like Oscar Taveras. While Yelich has posted solid speed numbers, he appears to be an intelligent runner than a true burner. An excellent hitter with surprising power for a stick figure, Yelich will move quickly to fill  a suddenly disturbing Miami Marlins 25-man roster.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 18 Rk-A 12 47 5 17 3 1 0 5 1 3 13 .362 .400 .468 .868
2010 18 Rk 6 24 3 9 1 1 0 3 1 2 7 .375 .423 .500 .923
2010 18 A 6 23 2 8 2 0 0 2 0 1 6 .348 .375 .435 .810
2011 19 A 122 461 73 144 32 1 15 77 32 55 102 .312 .388 .484 .871
2012 20 A+-Rk 107 401 76 132 29 5 12 48 20 49 85 .329 .402 .516 .918
2012 20 Rk 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 .500
2012 20 A+ 106 397 76 131 29 5 12 48 20 49 85 .330 .404 .519 .922
3 Seasons 241 909 154 293 64 7 27 130 53 107 200 .322 .395 .497 .892
A (2 seasons) A 128 484 75 152 34 1 15 79 32 56 108 .314 .387 .481 .869
Rk (2 seasons) Rk 7 28 3 10 1 1 0 3 1 2 7 .357 .400 .464 .864
A+ (1 season) A+ 106 397 76 131 29 5 12 48 20 49 85 .330 .404 .519 .922
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

20) Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs, SS

Baez could be a force at short for the Cubs. Just drafted in 2011 out of high school, the Cubs have already moved the youngster to High-A ball, having started the 2012 season late due to concerns about the weather. Regardless, he will continue moving quickly, especially if he keeps hitting like he has.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 18 Rk-A- 5 18 2 5 2 0 0 1 2 0 4 .278 .278 .389 .667
2011 18 Rk 3 12 2 4 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 .333 .333 .500 .833
2011 18 A- 2 6 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 .167 .167 .167 .333
2012 19 A-A+ 80 293 50 86 13 6 16 46 24 14 69 .294 .346 .543 .888
2012 19 A 57 213 41 71 10 5 12 33 20 9 48 .333 .383 .596 .979
2012 19 A+ 23 80 9 15 3 1 4 13 4 5 21 .188 .244 .400 .644
2 Seasons 85 311 52 91 15 6 16 47 26 14 73 .293 .342 .534 .876
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

21) Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins, RHP

If you missed the Futures Game, you didn’t see how big Fernandez is already. The guy has a monstrous frame that makes him look like he could step right into a Major League rotation. His results are impressive to this point and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Marlins rush him next year.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2011 18 A–Rk 0 1 10.38 2 2 4.1 5 6 5 0 4 7 2.077
2011 18 Rk 0 0 0.00 1 1 2.0 1 1 0 0 1 3 1.000
2011 18 A- 0 1 19.29 1 1 2.1 4 5 5 0 3 4 3.000
2012 19 A-A+ 14 1 1.75 25 25 134.0 89 28 26 2 35 158 0.925
2012 19 A 7 0 1.59 14 14 79.0 51 16 14 2 18 99 0.873
2012 19 A+ 7 1 1.96 11 11 55.0 38 12 12 0 17 59 1.000
2 Seasons 14 2 2.02 27 27 138.1 94 34 31 2 39 165 0.961
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

22) Zack Wheeler, New York Mets, RHP

Wheeler was acquired from the San Francisco Giants for Carlos  Beltran in 2011. He was a talented arm at the time and has established himself as the Mets top prospect since being acquired. Wheeler could still refine his command before he is a finished product, but he has the ceiling to be a top of the rotation starter.

Year Age Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2010 20 A 3 3 3.99 21 13 58.2 47 27 26 0 38 70 1.449
2011 21 A+ 9 7 3.52 22 22 115.0 100 50 45 7 52 129 1.322
2011 21 A+ 2 2 2.00 6 6 27.0 26 6 6 0 5 31 1.148
2011 21 A+ 7 5 3.99 16 16 88.0 74 44 39 7 47 98 1.375
2012 22 AA-AAA 12 8 3.26 25 25 149.0 115 59 54 4 59 148 1.168
2012 22 AA 10 6 3.26 19 19 116.0 92 46 42 2 43 117 1.164
2012 22 AAA 2 2 3.27 6 6 33.0 23 13 12 2 16 31 1.182
3 Seasons 24 18 3.49 68 60 322.2 262 136 125 11 149 347 1.274
A+ (1 season) A+ 9 7 3.52 22 22 115.0 100 50 45 7 52 129 1.322
A (1 season) A 3 3 3.99 21 13 58.2 47 27 26 0 38 70 1.449
AA (1 season) AA 10 6 3.26 19 19 116.0 92 46 42 2 43 117 1.164
AAA (1 season) AAA 2 2 3.27 6 6 33.0 23 13 12 2 16 31 1.182
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

23) Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers, 3B/OF

The Tigers have moved Castellanos to the outfield due to Miguel  Cabrera occupying third base. Castellanos is an interesting talent. He strikes out a lot and doesn’t really walk much, while his power numbers are lagging. However, he is just 20 and his 32 doubles show that there is power in there somewhere. If Castellanos beefs up a little, that will help the power numbers, and then he can help the Tigers

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 18 Rk 7 24 5 8 2 0 0 3 0 4 5 .333 .414 .417 .830
2011 19 A 135 507 65 158 36 3 7 76 3 45 130 .312 .367 .436 .803
2012 20 AA-A+ 134 537 72 172 32 4 10 57 8 36 118 .320 .365 .451 .815
2012 20 A+ 55 215 37 87 17 3 3 32 3 22 42 .405 .461 .553 1.014
2012 20 AA 79 322 35 85 15 1 7 25 5 14 76 .264 .296 .382 .678
3 Seasons 276 1068 142 338 70 7 17 136 11 85 253 .316 .367 .443 .810
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

24) Gary Brown, San Francisco Giants, OF

Brown’s 2011 numbers were likely the product of the California League, but he still showed solid speed and glimpses of power in Double-A in 2012. His 32 doubles and 33 steals show his potential. Since the Giants have thrived with a lack of pow er production since Barry Bonds left San Francisco, Brown could contribute as a speedster at the top of the order by 2014.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 21 A–Rk 12 44 8 7 1 1 0 2 2 6 12 .159 .296 .227 .524
2010 21 Rk 6 22 6 4 1 0 0 0 2 4 5 .182 .333 .227 .561
2010 21 A- 6 22 2 3 0 1 0 2 0 2 7 .136 .259 .227 .487
2011 22 A+ 131 559 115 188 34 13 14 80 53 46 77 .336 .407 .519 .925
2012 23 AA 134 538 73 150 32 2 7 42 33 40 87 .279 .347 .385 .731
3 Seasons 277 1141 196 345 67 16 21 124 88 92 176 .302 .374 .444 .818
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

25) Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, SS

For a team with such a terrible offense, Indians fans sure do love this slick fielding slap-hitter. Lindor is young and has gap power, but he isn’t as valuable to the Tribe as current shortstop Asdrubal  Cabrera because he can’t produce runs like Cabrera can. However, Cabrera is only signed through 2014 and Lindor should be ready by about the same time that Cabrera is leaving town. Lindor is a switch-hitter and has very good on-base skills. If he gets bigger,  Lindor could become a more valuable offensive weapon. As it stands, he is a solid leadoff or No. 2-hitter.

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 17 A- 5 19 4 6 0 0 0 2 1 1 5 .316 .350 .316 .666
2012 18 A 122 490 83 126 24 3 6 42 27 61 78 .257 .352 .355 .707
2 Seasons 127 509 87 132 24 3 6 44 28 62 83 .259 .352 .354 .705
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/19/2012.

26) Bubba Starling, Kansas City Royals, OF

27) Carlos Correa, Houston Astros, SS

28) Brett Jackson, Chicago Cubs, OF

29) Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks, RHP

30) Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays, RHP

31) Jonathan Singleton, Houston Astros, 1B

32) Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles, RHP

33) Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals, 2B/3B

34) Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners, C

35) Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees, C

36) Tyler Austin, New York Yankees, 3B/OF

37) Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies, 3B

38) Martin Perez, Texas Rangers, LHP

39) Cody Buckel, Texas Rangers, RHP

40) Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies, SS

41) Jon Schoop, Baltimore Orioles, INF

42) Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets, RHP

43) Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners, SS

44) Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres, 3B

45) Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs, OF

46) Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox, RHP

47) Jake Marisnick, Miami Marlins, OF

48) Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers, RHP

49) Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins, OF

50) Mason Williams, New York Yankees, OF

51) Justin Nicolino, Miami Marlins, LHP

52) George Springer, Houston Astros, OF

53) Michael Choice, Oakland Athletics, OF

54) Dan Straily, Oakland Athletics, RHP

55) Daniel Corcino, Cincinnati Reds, RHP

56) Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds, LHP

57) AJ Cole, Oakland Athletics, RHP

58) James Paxton, Seattle Mariners, LHP

59) Kolton Wong, St. Louis Cardinals, 2B

60) Addison Russell, Oakland Athletics, 3B

61) Alex Meyer, Minnesota Twins, RHP

62) Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins, OF

63) Avisail Garcia, Detroit Tigers, OF

64) Kyle Zimmer, Kansas City Royals, RHP

65) Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins, 2B/OF

66) Rymer Liriano, San Diego Padres, OF

67) Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics, RHP

68) Albert Almora, Chicago Cubs, OF

69) Christian Bethancourt, Atlanta Braves, C

70) Cheslor Cuthbert, Kansas City Royals, 3B

71) Manny Banuelos, New York Yankees, LHP

72) Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers, 3B

73) Jackie Bradley, Boston Red Sox, OF

74) Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins, RHP

75) Matt Davidson, Arizona Diamondbacks, 3B

76) Alen Hanson, Pittsburgh Pirates, SS

77) Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners, SS

78) Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates, OF

79) Trevor May, Minnesota Twins, RHP

80) Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals, RHP

81) Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays, RHP

82) Taylor Guerrieri, Tampa Bay Rays, RHP

83) David Dahl, Colorado Rockies, OF

84) Dan Vogelbach, Chicago Cubs, 1B

85) Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, OF

86) Miles Head, Oakland Athletics, 3B

87) Wilmer Flores, New York Mets, SS

88) Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres, C

89) Zack Cox, Miami Marlins, 3B

90) Ryan Wheeler, Arizona Diamondbacks, 1B/3B

91) Hak-Ju Lee, Tampa Bay Rays, SS

92) Leonys Martin, Texas Rangers, OF

93) Adam Eaton, Arizona Diamondbacks, OF

94) Aaron Hicks, Minnesota Twins, OF

95) Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates, OF

96) Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers, OF

97) Kaleb Cowart, Los Angeles Angels, 3B

98) Mike Montgomery, Tampa Bay Rays, LHP

99) Robbie Erlin, San Diego Padres, LHP

100) Zach Lee, Los Angeles Dodgers, RHP

How Good Are the Blue Jays?

Courtesy: businessinsider.com

Courtesy: businessinsider.com

You can’t buy championships…Well, maybe you can. The New York Yankees have tried to and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels seem to think that it is possible. The Blue Jays are taking a new approach. They seem to be trading for AND buying a championship, acquiring an All-Star team this offseason (and their contracts) to become immediate contenders in the American League East.

Toronto is absolutely loaded. Starting pitching…upgraded. Bullpen…upgraded. Offense…upgraded. Manager…well, they brought back a former manager, John Gibbons, so that is questionable.

Still, you have to like what GM Alex Anthopoulos has done, and if you’re a Blue Jays fan you have to love it.

Courtesy: northjersey.com

Courtesy: northjersey.com

The starting rotation is stacked. If the club rotates right-handed, left-handed, the rotation is: R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Ricky Romero, and Brandon Morrow. Morrow could be the No. 2 starter for most teams, possibly the No. 1 starter for many other. Morrow’s BB/9 IP have fallen from 4.1 in 2010 to 3.0 in 2012, when he posted a 2.96 ERA, also the lowest of his career. If Johnson stays healthy, he is capable of winning 20-games, having won 15 games in 2009, the last time he pitched 200 innings. Romero was 42-29 with a 3.60 ERA in his first three seasons (2009-2011) before imploding to a 9-14 record and 5.77 ERA in 2012. Buehrle has only tossed 200 innings in the last 12 seasons, winning 170 games in that time, and Dickey…a Cy Young in 2012 and a 39-28 record with a 2.95 ERA since 2010, when he seemingly became a totally different pitcher from his 22-28 record and 5.43 ERA that he posted in his previous seven seasons.

The bullpen is solid, as well, providing an end game from the Jays dominant rotation. Casey Janssen was dominant as a closer in 2012, Darren Oliver (if he doesn’t retire) has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball over the last seven seasons, Brandon Lyon is a former closer turned set-up man, Sergio Santos is coming back from shoulder surgery, and Esmil Rogers, Aaron Loup, and Brad Lincoln still have potential to become great bullpen arms.

Cabrera, Reyes, and Bautista - the new core. Courtesy: nydailynews.com

Cabrera, Reyes, and Bautista – the new core. Courtesy: nydailynews.com

The additions of Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera provide, quite possibly, the best leadoff and No. 2 hitter in baseball, setting things up perfectly for the powerful Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Brett Lawrie will continue to establish himself as one of the top third basemen in baseball, starting in 2013, as his power, speed, and athleticism make him an elite talent. Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus have shown glimpses of talent in the past and they are both young enough to rebound and become great contributors, even All-Star talents. The club has a lot of power at catcher with J.P. Arencibia around, who now has a clear future with Travis d’Arnaud going to the Mets in the Dickey deal.

While you can look at all of the deals that sent talent like d’Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Henderson Alvarez, and Noah Syndergaard away from the club, the Blue Jays still have a lot of young talent in the system. Lawrie, Moises Sierra, Anthony Gose, and David Cooper will contribute at the major league level in 2013, and great prospects like Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris (who will surely rebound from a disastrous 2012), Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Sean Nolin, and D.J. Davis still within the system.

While the Boston Red Sox try to rebuild without making a huge splash in free agency and the New York Yankees aim to get under the luxury tax threshold by 2014, the Toronto Blue Jays have just made their move…or moves…to become a huge threat to the entire divison and the league. Could Toronto be battling Tampa and Baltimore as the Red Sox and Yankees try to determine how they are going to build in the future? The future is now in Toronto and the Blue Jays could approach 100-wins with their upgraded roster in 2013.

Reflection on Sandy Hook

nfl_e_newton_logo_b1_300I was teaching on Friday morning when I read the news about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Early reports were upsetting, especially given the young children in the school, but as the number of victims grew throughout the day, my heart sank.

I was a senior in high school when the Columbine shootings occurred. It was devastating and scary, as you wondered if something like that was possible in your own community. The blame that went to the “gothic” groups then was very strange, as it made society look at that group of kids like they were all capable of such a crime. I still remember that day, the announcement, and the feelings I had about how my life would have changed if I was in that school.

When the news at Sandy Hook broke, I sat there as a parent of a four-year-old daughter, a husband of a first and second grade teacher, and I couldn’t help but break down when I thought about something like that happening to me.

However, it didn’t, and what I thought about how I may have felt can’t match the pain of the parents and those affected by this unspeakable crime.

I buried a stillborn child in May of 2007. I didn’t get to know my daughter and it was still a life-altering experience. You can’t even begin to understand the pain of not being able to tell your child that it will be ok, providing comfort in their final moments, or giving them the guidance they may have needed to make it through the chaotic events.

I wanted nothing more than to just reach out to my child, hold her, and tell her that I loved her on Friday afternoon. I talked to her on the phone that day (I’m divorced with a shared-parenting plan) just to tell her that something really bad happened today and that I am glad that she is safe.

When you think about what schools are supposed to be, this disgusting act becomes worse. We send out children to school to learn the fundamental values and knowledge needed to succeed in our society. We give them a kiss and drop them off or send them off to a bus knowing that we trust that they are safe at school, returning home to share their daily adventures with us several hours later.

On Friday, that simple expectation changed. Never take a moment for granted. Hug your child tightly and show them the love that they deserve, allowing them to understand the place that they keep in your heart and soul.

We can’t keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys, but we can certainly do more to make sure that something like this never happens again. There have been 31 school shootings since Columbine (4/20/1999) in the United States…there have only been 14 in the rest of the world COMBINED since then.

For those of you banging on the 2nd Amendment rights on Facebook and Twitter…in the words of my favorite college professor:

Posting statuses about your 2nd Ammendment right to bear arms in the aftermath of a shooting tragedy is rather like going up to the family of a drunk-driving victim immediately after the death and describing your favorite beer. Yes, it’s your right to do so. But it’s also completely tasteless.

Never forget the children and the brave teachers and staff who died in, quite possibly, the most cowardly act this side of the 9/11 attacks.

 

 

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