Results tagged ‘ Justin Morneau ’
With the season underway and some fans already looking forward to next year, even this early, it is a good time to look down on the farms for some names that you should get to know. Everyone knows who Wil Myers, Dylan Bundy, and Oscar Taveras are at this point, so these are players performing at elite levels who may not be household names…yet.
Salazar had Tommy John surgery and missed nearly two full seasons of development, but since returning for good in 2012, he has a 2.48 ERA over 116.1 innings, a 1.11 WHIP, and a 119:36 K:BB (3.31 K:BB). The Indians, who seemed to have a lot of depth at starting pitcher during the spring, are in need of some talent at the major league roster. Justin Masterson and Zach McAllister have pitched well, but injuries and inconsistency, especially from Ubaldo Jimenez, brings a need of some sort of stability. The Indians could use a little youth and homegrown talent in their rotation, and if Salazar continues pitching this well, he’ll be on his way to Cleveland sooner than later. A 43:9 K:BB in 28.2 innings is downright dominant.
Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Gibson was an elite talent when he was drafted 22nd overall in the 2009 MLB draft out of the University of Missouri. His stock had fallen a bit due to a stress fracture in his elbow. He proved that he was healthy in 2010 before needing Tommy John surgery in 2011. After rehab, he returned in 2012 with some mediocre numbers, and while his statistics don’t look fantastic this year in Rochester, he has had a couple of short, rough outing out of the six that he has made, allowing five earned runs twice in a little over four innings in two different starts. If you ignore those two starts, Gibson has a 1.99 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and 20:8 K:BB over 22.2 innings. The Twins will look for a little more consistency from Gibson before giving him a call, but he would immediately become one of the top two pitchers in their rotation, if not the best.
Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Pimentel doesn’t have a tremendous track record, but when you have a 0.30 ERA after five starts, you’re going to start getting noticed. Acquired from the Boston Red Sox as part of the Joel Hanrahan trade, Pimentel isn’t going to get the hype that Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon garnish, but he appears to have enough stuff to be a decent back-end of the rotation arm. He certainly needed to thrive after not really doing much good since the 2010 season. Since this is his third season in Double-A, maybe expectations should be tempered, even after a tremendous start, but if it continues, he’ll continue to peak interest.
Josmil Pinto, C, Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are notoriously slow in their development of players. While they have Joe Mauer locked up for the next century with a seemingly unmovable contract (don’t tell Boston that after last season’s mega-deal), he could move to first base if or when Justin Morneau leaves via free agency for Pinto. At 24, he’s a little on the old side for Double-A, and his numbers overall haven’t been spectular throughout his development, things took a nice turn last year. His plate discipline and gap power seemed to increase, and he has carried that over nicely this season, with 11 extra-base hits and a .938 OPS for New Britain. Ryan Doumit is the “other catcher” on the Twins roster, so if Pinto continues to hit, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him become a useful piece to the Twins roster.
Erik Johnson, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Johnson may not post dominant strikeout numbers, but his ability to keep runners from scoring is impressive. As he has moved up, his tits per nine has dropped at each level and he is not a little over a strikeout per inning, as well. Now in Double-A, the White Sox No.3 prospect, according to MLB.com, appears to be taking another step towards Chicago. While the club mourns the loss of Gavin Floyd to Tommy John surgery, Johnson could become an option later in the 2013 season, especially if he continues to dominate the opposition. The 2011 2nd round pick out of the University of California is certainly worth tracking.
Derek Dietrich, 2B, Miami Marlins
A smart acquisition by the Marlins this offseason in the Yunel Escobar deal, Dietrich is an under-the-radar prospect who seems to do nothing but hit, while playing a premium middle infield position. He was the Marlins No.8 prospect coming into the season (MLB.com), and he is currently 5th in the Southern League in total bases. He appears to have taken a drastically improved approach at the plate, as well, having taken 15 walks already after walking 32 times all season in 2012. With Donovan Solano ahead of him in Miami and a very weak group of talent there, especially with Giancarlo Stanton hurt, Dietrich could make an impact later this season, especially if he continues to rake the way that he has to this point in 2013.
Burch Smith, RHP, San Diego Padres
How can you be the 20th ranked prospect (MLB.com) in a pretty weak system, when you’re fastball sits 93-95 while touching 97 and you post numbers as absurd as Smith has? The guy has a 174:33 K:BB over his last 160 innings, and while his 3.85 ERA looks inflated from 2012, he was pitching in the hitter’s paradise California League. Sure, his secondary stuff may be lagging, but Tony Cingrani has looked pretty solid in the majors and throughout his minor league career using a fastball at alarmingly high rates. The fact that dynasty league fantasy baseball players may not be familiar with him is also surprising, considering he will be pitching half of his games in San Diego. Smith has dominated this season, and for a 14th round selection out of Oklahoma, the 6’4″ right-hander has been a smart investment by the Padres.
- Eric Mack: Fantasy baseball Prospect Watch — Marcell Ozuna’s surprise major league debut (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- 2013 Predictions and Useless Guesses (thebaseballhaven.mlblogs.com)
- Sizzling Future Stars: Minor League Report, 4/24 (thebaseballhaven.mlblogs.com)
Buster Posey had an MVP-type season in 2012, as I even picked him as the NL MVP for my own 2012 MLB Awards. Posey posted a .336/.408/.549 line, winning his first batting title, leading the majors in OPS+, and, obviously, leading the San Francisco Giants to the 2012 World Series.
Posey played shortstop at Florida State in his Freshman year, 2006, before moving to catcher in his Sophomore season, when he was a finalist for the 2007 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in college baseball. Not a bad start, and the fact that Posey gunned down 40.9 percent of potential base stealers in his first season behind the dish showed his defensive potential.
Posey was drafted by the Giants with the 5th overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft. He was up for good by 2010, having compiled 750 at-bats in the minors, helping the Giants win the World Series and winning the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year.
When Scott Cousins ripped up Posey’s ankle sliding into home plate on May 25, 2011, Posey would go on to miss the next 114 games and the Giants missed the playoffs. They won the World Series in 2010 and they are back there in 2012. Coincidence?
Buster Posey is fully aware of the injuries that can occur when catching, having lived through his disaster in 2011. It isn’t limited to the leg injury, though, as a collision could lead to a concussion, which could then lead to post-concussion syndromes whenever a foul ball rocks Posey’s hockey goalie-style mask. Look at Justin Morneau‘s spiraling career to see how quickly concussions can ruin everything you have worked for.
Buster Posey is a fantastic catcher. His career fielding percentage is .992, which is league average since he arrived in the bigs, but his range factor is above-average at catcher. He has thrown out 33 percent of would-be base stealers in his career (the league average in 27), while mashing to the tune of a .307/.374/.494 triple slash in 877 at-bats and 235 games as a catcher. Posey has 46 doubles, two triples, 38 home runs, and 152 RBI as a catcher.
Posey is a work in progress at first baseman. However, Posey has hit .355/.415/.571 in 217 at-bats and 61 games when playing first base. He has 21 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, and 37 RBI when playing first.
Buster Posey is an excellent catcher and he can handle the position, but can the Giants afford life without him? Should they protect their star player and the face of the Giants’ franchise by moving him now?
The 2011 season shows what the Giants are without Buster Posey. The injury to Posey could, eventually, lead to arthritis in his left knee and ankle due to the breaking of bones and the tear of ligaments.
Hector Sanchez is ready to play regularly. He turns 23 years old on November 17 and he is a switch-hitter. Sanchez jumped from High-A to Triple-A in 2011, receiving 31 at-bats in San Francisco that year. However, Sanchez isn’t going to develop into the hitter that he could be, the same one who hit 12 home runs and drove in 84 runs in the 2011 minor league season, if he doesn’t get regular playing time.
Buster Posey doesn’t need to move off of catcher to make room for Hector Sanchez. Buster Posey needs to move off of catcher to produce even bigger numbers, to win more MVP awards, and to continue to make the Giants World Series contenders for the next several seasons.
Posey could even play catcher sporadically, as Victor Martinez did in 2011 with Alex Avila taking over the regular catching duties in Detroit. You could even make the argument that Posey is better off in the outfield than first base, due to the presence of Brandon Belt, who plays a Gold Glove level defense at first, and the athletic ability that Posey possesses.
Whatever happens, Posey is a superstar and he needs to stay on the field for the San Francisco Giants to be legitimate World Series contenders. Moving him off of catcher is a choice that could keep him on the field, prolong his career, and continue to allow the Giants to reap the benefits of having Posey in their lineup for more games, which allows him to impact the whole 162-game season.
Justin Morneau won the MVP in 2006 after raking to the tune of a .321/.375/.559 line, with 37 2B, 34 HR, and 130 RBI, leading the Twins to a 96-66 record and the AL Central title. Since then, Morneau hasn’t been all bad, as he was an All-Star from 2007-2010, but then…IT happened.
July 7, 2010, Morneau collided with John McDonald at second base (http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=9761163) in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, he then missed the remainder of the season, which he left with a .345/.437/.618 line in 81 games, a clear MVP candidate. 2011 wasn’t very friendly after the concussion symptoms cleared up. He missed five games in April with the flu, a couple of games in June due to a sore wrist, and then he had neck surgery to resolve a pinched nerve problem. He came back in mid-August only to miss time with a bruised foot and on August 29, he suffered a shoulder injury which resulted in more concussion-like symptoms and he was done for the year.
Since sustaining his concussion in July of 2010, Morneau has hit just .227/.285/.333 with 16 2B, 4 HR, and 30 RBI in 69 games. This spring he has been pretty miserable, until he ripped two homers on Saturday, posting a .154/.233/.333 line with 2 HR and 7 RBI, going just 6 for 39.
Morneau doesn’t seem right this spring and he has been DH in the last seven games that he has played. It could be an opportunity for Ryan Doumit to get a look at first, or maybe to see if Chris Parmelee should have a larger role or get sent to Triple-A Rochester. Regardless, Morneau is going to get his own shot to play every day, as Twins manger Ron Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
“He’s in the lineup; it doesn’t matter where we’re playing him. We’re just getting him at-bats right now. I know he can play first base, I don’t need to know about that. I need to know about other people. Right now, he’s just playing. We’ll decide that when we get down to the end. I told you that before; we’ll make that decision at the end of spring training. Right now we’ll do what we have to do to get him at-bats.”
Getting Justin Morneau at bats is necessary, but it is necessary because the Twins need to see if he has anything left. Concussions have manipulated some of the greatest careers ever: Steve Young, Sidney Crosby, and now Morneau. Morneau even said himself (to the Associated Press) when he reported to spring:
“I don’t think there will be a career if it’s something I’m dealing with (for the long term), that’s the reality of the whole thing. I’m obviously not going to continue to mess around with this if it continues to be a problem. There comes a point where you can only torture yourself for so long. It’s something I love to do but you keep preparing and you keep being left out. That’s something that nobody wants to go through.”
If the issues persist, Morneau could be done whether he wants to be or not. He will be 31-years-old on May 15th and he is married with a daughter. How long will he give himself to return to form? Will he ever return to form? The Twins can only hope so, but Morneau seems to be giving it his all to no avail at this point.
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
.344/.448/.586, 48 2B, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 2 SB in 572 AB
.327/.431/.596, 49 2B, 37 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 579 AB
How can one of the best hitters in baseball get even better? Adding Prince Fielder to the lineup. The Tigers are going to need run production with Cabrera playing some 3B, as their defense may become as ugly as the Patriots secondary.
2. Albert Pujols, Angels
.299/.366/.541, 29 2B, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 9 SB in 579 AB
.313/.389/.563, 36 2B, 34 HR, 112 RBI, 5 SB in 599 AB
Pujols had a “down” year in 2011. If only everyone could look so good when they’re so “bad.” He’ll rebound with health, and he’ll maintain that health with the ability to DH on occasion. His lineup is filled with vets, but it shouldn’t hold him back THIS YEAR. I still don’t think he’s going to be worth the contract by 2015 or 2016…ARod style.
3. Prince Fielder, Tigers
.299/.415/.566, 36 2B, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 1 SB in 569 AB
.315/.426/.588, 43 2B, 35 HR, 119 RBI, 1 SB in 559 AB
Prince isn’t losing anything by moving away from Ryan Braun’s protection with Miguel Cabrera filling that role nicely. He immediately makes Detroit a contender with his arrival, especially since they were already there before he got there. Scary good with the Comerica Park gaps.
4. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
.338/.410/.548, 45 2B, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 1 SB in 630 AB
.327/.422/.553, 39 2B, 33 HR, 124 RBI, 1 SB in 614 AB
Gonzalez will have a full season of a not-God-awful Carl Crawford to drive in, and he’ll be comfortable in Fenway to start the year, so he won’t lose a month of power like he did at the start of 2011.
5. Joey Votto, Reds
.309/.416/.531, 40 2B, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 8 SB in 599 AB
.329/.426/.569, 36 2B, 38 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB in 587 AB
Votto is a very patient hitter in a lineup that lacks patience. He’ll take pitches and lose RBI’s due to guys not getting on around him, and walking about the same number of times that he strikes out. He’s going to step up his production as he heads towards Free Agency after 2013, developing a market for himself early. He’s in a great ballpark, Great American to be exact, to make it happen.
6. Eric Hosmer, Royals
.293/.334/.465, 27 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB in 523 AB
.287/.362/.501, 31 2B, 26 HR, 89 RBI, 14 SB in 598 AB
Hosmer had a strong rookie season and is only going to get better. 2012 will be the first signs of what he is capable of, but his numbers will continue to climb from here. He has power and is athletic enough to continue stealing bases. He could eventually become a Ryan Braun clone at 1B, with fewer stolen bases. I have him high on the list because he showed what he is capable of in the 2nd half of 2011.
7. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
.248/.341/.494, 26 2B, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 4 SB in 589 AB
.253/.339/.513, 28 SB, 35 HR, 103 RBI, 2 SB in 594 AB
Teixeira’s AVG and SLG have fallen significantly in the last several seasons, and his high strikeout rate suddenly screams that he is on the decline, as he can’t keep up with fastballs like he used to. With that being said, he is still mashing. I have a slight bounceback coming, but he isn’t capable of the high averages and power like he used to be.
8. Michael Young, Rangers
.338/.380/.474, 41 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB in 631 AB
.318/.372/.468, 37 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 97 RBI, 5 SB in 639 AB
Young just keeps hitting. He led the league in hits last year and continues showing the ability to be versatile, which has a lot of value in various fantasy formats. Look for more of the same with a solid lineup around him, even as he continues aging. He showed no signs of breaking down last year.
9. Freddie Freeman, Braves
.282/.346/.448, 32 2B, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB in 571 AB
.294/.357/.467, 34 2B, 25 HR, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 584 AB
With a name this bad, you’d think there was no way that he would be a successful baseball player. Maybe a plumber or sales guy…however, Freeman is very young and is a polished hitter. He’s hitting better than previous super-prospect Jason Heyward has to this point, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues to do so in coming years. He may never hit 30-35 homers per season, but he will do more than enough to be an asset in fantasy and for the Braves.
10. Michael Morse, Nationals
.303/.360/.550, 36 2B, 31 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB in 522 AB
.286/.342/.549, 34 2B, 33 HR, 107 RBI, 1 SB in 571 AB
Morse came out of nowhere, kind of, to post very valuable fantasy numbers in 2011. He has tremendous power and a long swing, which still will make his susceptible to slumps and strikeouts. The Nationals are improving around him, though, so he should continue to build value. He will ultimately be a first baseman, but he will patrol left field to open the season. He could move to first if or when Adam LaRoche’s next injury strikes, but he’ll certainly be there by 2013 for good.
11. Billy Butler, Royals
.291/.361/.461, 44 2B, 19 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB in 597 AB
.314/.379/.501, 41 2B, 26 HR, 101 RBI, 1 SB in 599 AB
12. Ike Davis, Mets
.302/.383/.543, 8 2B, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 0 SB in 129 AB
.291/.372/.538, 32 2B, 28 HR, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 586 AB
Davis was headed towards a breakout prior to the ankle injury that he suffered in 2011. Imagine the capabilities in an offense that is relying heavily on him, especially after the fences were moved in. This is the year.
13. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
.301/.412/.547, 23 2B, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 2 SB in 488 AB
.283/.394/.527, 21 2B, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 1 SB in 506 AB
He won’t hit as well with added pressure to perform, but he should maintain health by moving to first. He’s aging, even if he posted a solid season for what seems like the first time in years in 2011, so don’t think he is going to get a whole lot better than last year.
14. Ryan Howard, Phillies
.253/.346/.488, 30 2B, 33 HR, 116 RBI, 1 SB in 557 AB
.247/.339/.479, 23 2B, 26 HR, 82 RBI, 0 SB in 486 AB
Decline City. Major injury + drops in OPS over the last few years = the NL version of Teixeira with a whole lot less to offer. Howard will miss the first month, but he’ll still post solid power numbers. He isn’t a top of the line bat anymore, and he and his teammates are aging quicker than Benjamin Button, only the opposite way.
15. Paul Konerko, White Sox
.300/.388/.517, 25 2B, 31 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB in 543 AB
.309/.392/.524, 28 2B, 33 HR, 110 RBI, 1 SB in 564 AB
There’s no way that Konerko can’t be better in 2011 because Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, and Gordon Beckham will be better around him. He’ll drive in more runs and see more pitches.
16. Mark Reynolds, Orioles
.221/.323/.483, 27 2B, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 6 SB in 534 AB
.232/.331/.489, 26 2B, 39 HR, 91 RBI, 4 SB in 541 AB
17. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
.250/.333/.474, 9 2B, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 4 SB in 156 AB
.259/.341/.510, 28 2B, 25 HR, 84 RBI, 7 SB in 533 AB
18. Yonder Alonso, Padres
.330/.398/.545, 4 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB in 88 AB
.309/.389/.508, 36 2B, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 531 AB
19. Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
.266/.352/.427, 35 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 3 SB in 572 AB
.271/.354/.449, 37 2B, 18 HR, 83 RBI, 2 SB in 576 AB
20. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
.284/.346/.459, 29 2B, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 11 SB in 529 AB
.279/.339/.453, 31 2B, 17 HR, 76 RBI, 8 SB in 559 AB
21. Carlos Lee, Astros
.275/.342/.446, 38 2B, 18 HR, 94 RBI, 4 SB in 585 AB
.271/.341/.439, 36 2B, 21 HR, 89 RBI, 2 SB in 591 AB
22. Justin Morneau, Twins
.227/.285/.333, 16 2B, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 0 SB in 264 AB
.264/.326/.411, 21 2B, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 0 SB in 403 AB
If he stays on the field, he’s still going to have to adjust and be consistent. Chris Parmelee may be the best Twins first baseman to own going forward.
23. Justin Smoak, Mariners
.234/.323/.396, 24 2B, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 0 SB in 427 AB
.271/.359/.489, 31 2B, 22 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB in 568 AB
This is the year, guys! Smoak stays healthy, has help with Montero coming over, and he develops. He’s still just 25!
24. Aubrey Huff, Giants
.246/.306/.370, 27 2B, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 5 SB in 521 AB
.261/.326/.409, 31 2B, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 4 SB in 535 AB
25. Carlos Pena, Rays
.225/.357/.462, 27 2B, 28 HR, 80 RBI, 2 SB in 493 AB
.231/.379/.491, 26 2B, 29 HR, 84 RBI, 2 SB in 519 AB
26. James Loney, Dodgers
.288/.339/.416, 30 2B, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 4 SB in 531 AB
.281/.341/.421, 34 2B, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 3 SB 546 AB
27. Casey Kotchman, Indians
.306/.378/.422, 24 2B, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 2 SB in 500 AB
.311/.386/.441, 31 2B, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 1 SB in 562 AB
28. Adam Lind, Blue Jays
.251/.295/.439, 16 2B, 26 HR, 87 RBI, 1 SB in 499 AB
.255/.310/.441, 18 2B, 29 HR, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 512 AB
29. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
.259/.320/.414, 22 2B, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 2 SB in 464 AB
.265/.329/426, 29 2B, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 3 SB in 520 AB
30. Todd Helton, Rockies
.302/.385/.466, 27 2B, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 0 SB in 421 AB
.294/.376/.459, 24 2B, 13 HR, 67 RBI, 0 SB in 432 AB