Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chase Utley: Back to His Old Self

Chase Utley is back. Stop looking at just the average and homeruns (despite his average being at its highest since 2008). He is performing just fine.

Also, don't forget that Utley didn't have spring training and struggled in the beginning with the Phillies. Despite this, his average, slugging, OPS, wOBA, and OPS+ is up compared to his 2010 season. Sure, he only has 4 homeruns, but his slugging is up, so the power is still there and that is not a concern. The homeruns will certainly come.

In June, he slash line looked like this .297/.387/.473. He has begun July even hotter at .313/.389/.563. That is much better compared to his May which was .222/.364/.370. As the months go on, Chase has been getting better.

Since June 5th, one month ago to the day, Chase Utley is batting .323. His OBP is .418, slugging is .538, and his OPS is .956. That is Chase Utley.

Utley may never be back to his 07-09 form, but that is expected because he is getting older. He could though, who knows. However, Utley is certainly having a better season already than he had in 2010.

Utley is continuing to hit and those stats will continue to soar as he does.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Picks for the Home Run Derby

David Ortiz and Prince Fielder are the captains this year for the Home Run Derby and their respective leagues. They are permitted to pick three players each to join them in the Home Run Derby on July 11th. I'll be in Phoenix that weekend and in right field, so I hope they make good picks and preferably some lefties! These would be my picks...

National League:
Mike Stanton
Justin Upton
Ryan Howard

American League:
Jose Bautista
Josh Hamilton
Miguel Cabrera

My National League Starting Lineup

This is my National League Starting Lineup, complete with backups. Let me know if you disagree with any of the selections in the comment section.

Catcher: Brian McCann
Brian McCann is having a tremendous season. He's batting .311 with a .907 OPS. His wOBA is .387, which beats out any other National League catchers by a long-shot. Sure, his defense isn't very good, but he is easily the starter just because of his offensive production.

Backup: Miguel Montero

First Base: Joey Votto
This position is tricky, considering there is also the Designated Hitter. I give it to Joey Votto, despite having a slightly less productive year than Prince Fielder, because of his defense.

Backup: Gaby Sanchez

Second Base: Chase Utley
Despite playing less games than the competition, Chase Utley is still the starter for me. He is a perennial starter at the position and he leads NL second basemen in wOBA and OBP.

Backup: Rickie Weeks

Third Base: Chase Headley
The talent pool is very small here. Chase Headley, despite being poor on defense, dominates the NL third basemen in OBP, sitting at .398. No one else is close. Placido Polanco looked to be the front runner in first few months of the season, but has slumped badly of late.

Backup: Aramis Ramirez

Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Reyes is having a ridiculous year. He leads shortstops in wOBA, SLG, OBP, AVG, wRC+, and SB. He is the runaway starter for me, and I don't think it is debatable.

Backup: Troy Tulowitzki

Outfielders: Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino

Matt Kemp is clearly a starter, leading outfielders in almost every statistic from the center field position.

Ryan Braun has had a terrific year and also deserves to be starting.

My controversial pick is Shane Victorino, who has quietly had a remarkable year. He is the best defensive CF in the NL, but has also contributed from the plate this year as well. He's been the best position player on the best team in baseball this year, with a respectable .515 SLG and .393 wOBA.

Backups: Lance Berkman, Andrew McCutcheon, and Justin Upton

Designated Hitter: Prince Fielder

He would have been the starting first basemen, but considering he is below average defensively, he fits in better at the DH spot.

Backup: Michael Morse

The Real MVP of the American League

This is an attempt at my first blog post...

Adrian Gonzalez is not the MVP of the American League. Mark Teixeira is certainly not. Neither is Paul Konerko.

Jose Bautista is easily the MVP of the American League when looking beyond the traditional statline. Sure, Adrian Gonzalez's .349 AVG and 73 RBI looks nice compared to Jose Bautista's .330 AVG and 54 RBI, but Jose Bautista is dominating Adrian in just about every other statistically category.

Jose Bautista's OBP, SLG, wOBA, and wRC+ prove this. Jose Bautista is currently sitting on a .479 wOBA. .479, which easily beats Gonzalez's mark of .425 by an astounding 54 points. Jose Bautista gets on-base almost half the time, with his current OBP being .473, which transcends Gonzalez's .404 OBP by 69 points. Bautista leads Adrian Gonzalez in SLG by 84 points, as well. This totals a 153 point difference in OPS.

Bautista plays in a less loaded Blue Jays' lineup. This is the reason his RBI are lower, and the reason he gets walked so much. Meanwhile Adrian Gonzalez has many more pitches to hit because he is in front of many well respected Red Sox hitters.

Based off of what I hear, Adrian Gonzalez is the front-runner for the AL MVP. That should not be the case, considering Jose Bautista is having a far more productive year.