Tagged: Jason Heyward

It’s the All-Star Game, not Homecoming.

Fans of Major League Baseball usually treat the “Mid-Summer Classic” as a way of seeing all of their favorite baseball players, whether they deserve to be there or not. This season appears to be no exception. That is at least for fans of the National League.


I am of the school of thought that the All-Star Game is an honor that should go to players whose stats during the first half of the season make them deserving of such an honor. Recently, the fan vote has been making this game a popularity contest (for the most part). I has been apparent that Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies fans have either been more heard or more biased than the rest of baseball.


I won’t get into an argument about this being a game for the fans vs. having the best team regardless of stats with it deciding home field advantage in the World Series. I will however, argue with some of the most recent leaders in positions for both league.

First Base:
American League– Maybe the most talent-filled position in all of baseball. If you were to tell me that The one two spots would have a difference of about only 300,000 I would say that made sense. However, if you told me that second place belonged to Mark Teixeira of the Yankees I would have to shake my head in shame. Justin Morneau of the Twins, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Paul Konerko of the White Sox, Billy Butler of the Royals and Kevin Youkilis (to name a few) are all more deversant than Tex to have a spot at the All-Star Game.

Leader- Justin Morneau, Twins.
My pick- Justin Morneau, Twins.

National League– Much like with the American League, this might be the position with the most players deserving on a bid. Albert Pujols of the Cardinals is always going to be the leader because he is the best player in the league. However, one can argue that Adrian Gonzalez (Padres), Joey Votto (Reds), and Ryan Howard (Phillies) all have better numbers than Pujols.

Leader- Albert Pujols, Cardinals.
My pick- Joey Votto, Reds.

Second Base:
American League– This might be the biggest runaway race in any position in the bigs. The Yankee’s Robinson Cano is the only player worth mentioning.

Leader- Robinson Cano, Yankees.
My pick- Robinson Cano, Yankees.

National League– Fan favorite Chase Utley of the Phillies is running away with this race in the polls. However, he is not having a season worth of a trip to Anaheim this summer. Martin Prado of the Braves is leading the league in hitting and Brandon Phillips of the Reds is having  an Utley-like year so far. With Utley on the disabled list, the deserving player should get the nod afterall.

Leader- Chase Utley, Phillies.
My pick- Martin Prado, Braves.

Third Base:
American League– Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays is quickly becoming the best player in baseball. The former Rookie of the Year is opening eyes and becoming the new face of baseball. That being said, Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox (No, he didn’t retire, he just played in Seattle for five seasons) is putting up some ridiculous numbers for a team that has desperately needed a rock in the middle of the line up to help Kevin Youkilis. Alex Rodriguez  of the Yankees and Michael Young of the Rangers are up to their usual ways as well.

Leader- Evan Longoria, Rays.
My pick- Adrian Beltre, Red Sox.

National League– This one of the cases I was talking about earlier. The Phillies’ Placido Polanco is putting up some good number but Scott Rolen (Reds), David Wright (Mets), and Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) are all more deserving of the honor to start. Polanco is on the dl so that means that a more deserving player will start.

Leader- Placido Polanco, Phillies.
My pick- David Wright, Mets.

Shortstop:
American League– As usual, Derek Jeter of the Yankees has a huge lead. As usual, that should not be the case.

Leader- Derek Jeter, Yankees.
My pick- Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays.

National League– For a while, Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) had been leading at short. The only problem is that he had only played 12 games. The most deserving player is Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), but he is disabled so it appears that the starter will be Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) once again.

Leader- Hanley Ramirez, Marlins.
My pick- Hanley Ramirez, Marlins.
Catcher:
American League– It is always hard to argue against the reigning MVP. Joe Mauer of the Twins is leading in voting, and deservingly so. The only two catcher’s whose numbers pop out are Victor Martinez (Indians) and Joe Buck (Blue Jays). Martinez is on the dl, so Buck should at least be the back up.
Leader- Joe Mauer, Twins.
My pick- Joe Mauer, Twins.

National League– Last update, the leader was Yadier Molina of the Cardinals. Quite frankly, with a batting average of .240 any other catcher in the league is more deserving than him. Molina shouldn’t be starting for his team, much less the National League. The truth is that Miguel Olivo of the Rockies is by the far the best offensive catcher this season, and no one but him should be starting this game.
Leader- Yadier Molina, Cardinals.
My pick- Miguel Olivo, Rockies.
Outfield:
American League– No arguments here.
Leaders- Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. Carl Crawford, Rays.
My pick- Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. Carl Crawford, Rays.
National League– Jason Heyward (Braves) was a leader, but he stated he won’t play if picked. Ryan Braun (Brewers) has alright numbers, but he is just there because he is a fan favorite.
Leaders- Ryan Braun, Brewers. Jason Heyward, Braves. Andre Ethier, Dodgers.
My picks- Andre Ethier, Dodgers. Marlon Byrd, Cubs. Jayson Werth, Phillies.

2010 NL East Predictions

Today I begin the National League by looking at the East.

The Philadelphia Phillies obviously remain the team to beast in this division. In fact, they probably remain the team to beat in the whole league. The 2008 world champions and 2009 NL champions added one of the best pitchers in the league in Roy Halladay. The only question for the Fightin’s is the bullpen, but that is a division-wide problem.
The Washington Redskins of baseball a.ka. the New York Mets had some of the worst injury problems in the whole league last season. They waved goodbye to Carlos Delgado and signed Jason Bay to a terrible contract in the offseason. Besides Johan Santana their rotation has absolutely no one. Besides Francisco Rodriguez, their bullpen is close to the worst in baseball. I think David Wright will bounce back. Also a healthy Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are keys to the Mets success in 2010.
The Atlanta Braves might have the best starting rotation in all of baseball. Youngsters Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurjjens will look to cement their names into the elite class of major league pitchers. Rookie phenomenon Jason Heyward will look to have a strong rookie season, and he will try to provide some much needed pop to a line-up filled with good hitters. They Braves did lose key members of their bullpen in Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez.
As is the case every year, the Florida Marlins will take the field with the lowest pay-roll in baseball and they will still find a way to compete. A nice rotation of Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volsatd, and Nate Robertson. Hanley Ramirez is my pick for NL MVP in 2010 and he might be enough to lead this Marlins team to a successful year.
The Washington Nationals improved their pitching by adding veteran starter jason Marquis and closer Matt Capps. They also have a good line-up that includes Ryan Zimerman and Adam Dunn. However until Stephen Strasburg joins the big league club, there will not reason to watch them.
Predictions:
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1. Braves
2. Phillies
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals