Monday, July 29, 2013

The Fall of Brett Jackson

Brett Jackson, ever since the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the first round in 2008 has been the Cubs top prospect until 2012 where he was replaced by Javier Baez and even then he was the 32nd top prospect in Baseball according to Baseball America. He was considered a 5-tool player and was supposed to be the Cubs star outfielder. His strikeouts had other plans./

Brett Jackson had all the tools when he was drafted by the Cubs: power, average, speed, throwing ability, and fielding ability. The Cubs seemed like they got a great pick when they drafted him. In 2009 his first pro season he batted .318 with an impressive .418 OBP and 8 homers. The real problem was his 56 strikeouts which meant a 26.5 strikeout rate.

In 2010 he was among the top 75 prospects in Baseball and played in High-A and Double A that year. He hit .297/.395/.493 with 12 homers and 30 steals but struck out 25% of the time

. The same thing happened in 2011 he was a highly rated prospect with great potential but he struck out way to much with a 32% strikeout rate. He still got on base a lot and still hit for power but the average was dropping and people started to become concerned that his strikeout rate was too much in the minor leagues to translate to success in the major leagues.

In 2012 he struck out 156 times and and hit only .256/.338/.479. He was a top 50 prospect even though the strikeout rate was pretty high. He made his debut in the big leagues in August and struggled mightily for the Cubs hitting .175/.303/.342 3 home runs and 0 steals. He struck out 59 times in 160 ABs.Yes nearly 50% of the time.

Now in 2013 the Cubs made some changes to his approach but it seemed to make him even worse as he batted only .217/.290/.349 and seems to be on the road to Bust City. It is sad to see his decline especially since he had all that potential but struck out too much to last in the big leagues. He can still make the big leagues if he cuts on the strikeouts. It is sad to see the fall of a player with great potential

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Is Aramis Ramirez a hall of famer?

 Ramirez belts a walk off against the White Sox

When healthy Aramis Ramirez can be a force at third base he can drive the ball and can hit for a high average as well and can draw walks. Ramirez has struggled with injuries as of late after a 50-double season last year he has only hit 11 this year in 54 games. His slugging percentage is over .100 points lower than last season but that is effected due to the injuries.

 Ramirez is a good hitter, even maybe one of the better hitting third baseman of all time. He is among the top 10 home run hitters for third baseman with 342 (6th active) and 91st all time and110th all time in extra base hits (13th active). He is among the top 130 in RBIs (12th active) A-Ram is 35 years old but hitting 50 doubles at 34 is hard in its own right and is impressive for his lack of speed as well.

The next 4-5 years are key for Ramirez as he needs to get to 400 homers before his name starts coming up more. He seems to be a lock for 500 doubles in his career which will help his case as an extra base guy. A-Ram has a .845 career OPS and a 116 OPS+. His best years were in a Cubs uniform where he was on of the best third baseman to wear a Cub uniform and if he does get enough to be inducted it will be in a Cubs uniform.

What could the Phillies get for Michael Young

Michael Young is currently 36 years old and was acquired in a trade in the off season that sent Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to the Rangers in exchange for Young. With the Phillies only at .500 they seem to be rebuilding to get younger.

The most likely player to be traded is Michael Young as he is still a fairly productive player and can really help a contending team while getting the Phillies some decent prospects. Young is currently hitting .278/.344/.404 this year with 7 homers and 32 RBIs. He has been playing slightly below his career numbers of .300/.347/.442 which is hard to do at the age of 36.

The biggest question is who the Phillies can get for him. I doubt they will get much because of the age and the fact he will be a rental. My prediction is that the Rangers, Dodgers, and Reds will be in on Young as they are teams that are willing to sacrifice prospects in the quest for a ring.

Young is known for being a contact hitter and is a 15-20 home run threat. He is not a great fielder with a -1.6 defensive war but a 1.2 offensive war but his total WAR for this year is -0.5. If he is acquired by an AL team he could DH and since Lance Berkman going to the DL and considering retirement. The Rangers could be a likely destination for Young.

Update: 10:23 PM:
Rangers have stated "no interest" in bringing Young back. (Link).

Friday, July 26, 2013

A tribute to Alfonso Soriano

                                                               (Photo Credit: Vineline)
With the news Alfonso Soriano was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for Corey Black.  I think it is time to reflect on the wonderful career he had with the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs signed Soriano to an 8 year deal after 2006 and he got off to a quick start hitting .291/.340/.547  with 62 homers and 38 steals in 2007-08 and leading the Cubs to the playoffs where they were swept both times. In 2007 during a Nationwide broadcast Soriano came up lame going from first to third on a single and he was never the speedster he once was.

Soriano lost many fans after a dismal 2009 season hitting .241..303/.423 with 20 homers and 55 RBIs but the RBI total was because he was batting lead off most of the time.

Soriano in his last 4 years with the Cubs batted .255/.307/.485 with 99 home runs and drove in 326. He had a wonderful 2012 hitting 32 homers and driving in a career high 108.

Soriano will always be one of my favorite Cubs and I had great joy in watching him hit long homers. I wish he could stay to get his 2000th hit and 400th homer with the Cubs.
I wish him good luck for the New York Yankees and leave you with some of his Cubs highlights.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Should the Yankees be buyers or sellers

The New York Yankees have been in the media a lot this season. Whether for Biogenesis or injuries they always are involved in something. But that brings up a bigger question. What do they do this trading deadline? The Yankees are 51-44 so far this year and are definitely still in the playoff race but are 4th in a very tough AL East. Some think they should be sellers and prepare for the future. But other think they should focus on the future when they are struggling.

 The Yankees don't have one part of the team that is truly dominant. All the regular starters except Cano are out with injuries. The Yankees best pitcher has easily been Hiroki Kuroda who is having a very nice late career resurgence. The Bullpen has actually done pretty well this year.

I honestly think the Yankees will be buying this year as they are still in the playoff hunt and they are above .500. I do expect them to trade Joba Chamberlain who has been their worst bullpen pitcher so far

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interview with Rob Zastryzny

Today I interviewed Rob Zastryzny the Chicago Cubs Second round draft pick from this year. He has currently appeared in 3 games for the Boise Hawks.

How did you find out the Cubs drafted you?

I was watching the draft on TV and I got a text from my advisor that said "cubs at 41" but I wasn't sure and about 30 seconds later I got to hear Kerry wood call my name.

What was going through your head when you were on the mound for the first time?

The same thing that does every time. Get a zero on the scoreboard and get my team in to hit. Give us the best chance to win

Who have been your biggest supporters so far?
My parents by far. My mizzou teammates and coaches have been great too. Chicago fans have been great so far too. Lots of support

When did you realize that you could make the big leagues?

After my sophomore season I started getting interest. But I knew in high school, that if I put in the work, it could be done. I still have a long way to go

Who was the first member of the Cubs to contact you?

Ty Nicholls was the area scout for Missouri and he met with me in the fall and called me on draft day

If you could play for one organization other than the Cubs who would you play for?

There's no other organization that I'd play for because they weren't the ones who wanted me to play for them. They had their chance. The cubs took a shot at me so I'm going to spend all my time helping them win a world series

What type of pitcher do you see yourself?

I have the ability to use power but I see myself as someone who mixes speeds and throws quality strikes

Thanks a ton to Rob for doing this interview and I wish him good luck in the future

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Starlin Castro is having a year off

Starlin Castro has been really awful this year. He has a slash line of .243/.280/.351 and has been struggling since signing an extension with the Cubs in August of last year. His BB% is 3.7 which is absolutely unacceptable and if you take away the HBP his OBP is .271 which is a lot worse. But lets dive deeper. His BABIP is .285 and the average is .300 so he has been a bit unlucky. He also has been striking out a lot more with a total of 72 on the year. The most likely problem is that the Cubs changed his stance to drive the ball more but it is causing him to swing through a lot more pitches as well. He has a noticeable hitch in his swing that is causing him to move around more before the pitch. Another big issue is that he is not hitting as many line drives and is merely grounding out/flying out. The second half is very big for Castro.

The Matt Garza rumors

The biggest name most likely to be traded in the next couple of days is Matt Garza and he should be. He is pitching very well and could be a nice rotation option for a team that could make the World Series. Earlier this week it was reported Garza was told he would likely be traded. The Cubs were working on an extension with him but then the talks fell through.

 Matt Garza most likely will not be going to the Padres because they are in rebuild mode and are not contending unlike previous reports. I think the most likely team is Texas as they are not only contending but also need pitching depth in the bottom of the rotation.

He is a very serviceable pitcher and I would not be surprised if the team that acquires him will starts working on an extension.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cubs most underrated pitcher/position player this year.

In my opinion John Andreoli has been having a really nice season so far and is probably the most underrated position player this year in the Cubs system. He is batting .321/.392/.409 combined between A and AA and he is been getting a bunch of hits but not a lot of power as he does not have any home runs. He was a 17th round draft pick in 2011 and has probably been one of the bigger steals of the draft at the age of 23. He has a .979 fielding percentage in the outfield which is good especially in the minor leagues. He has decreased both his bb% which is bad and has decreased his K% which is good. He has a .367 BABIP which means he might decline later in the year. He in fact leads the organization in hits with 95. I expect him to maybe have a September call up this year and might be a call up next year depending wheat the team does trade/free agency wise.

 The Cubs most underrated pitcher has been Eric Jokisch who was a 11th round pick in 2010. He is only 7-7 but has a 3.21 ERA and has a 2.8 BB/9 with a 2.81 K/BB which is fairly good. He is only 23 which is fairly young. He has hurled 98 innings and has given up 93 hits with 8 home runs allowed. One noticeable change is he has increased his K% to over 20% which is solid and has slightly lowered his BB% by .2. He has given up slightly more hits but has been striking out more batters. One thing to watch is that his FIP is .30 points higher than his ERA.

Cubs working on extension for Garza?

Earlier today it was reported by Jon Heyman (link) that the Cubs were working to extend Matt Garza instead of trade him. I am very happy with this report as Matt Garza is a great starter for the Cubs and is someone who it would hurt to trade rather than help. While he can get a great return the Cubs should keep with their present rotation because it is doing fairly well for them and Edwin Jackson is starting to heat up. Honestly, I think if anyone is traded it is Jackson because he has started to struggle.

Updates will be below this line
Update(2:52 PM) Jon Heyman reports Cubs are working on a multi year deal(link) but there is still a gap

Sunday, July 7, 2013

OBP by position

Earlier I made an excel chart about team OBP.  Unfortunately I could not get it to copy exactly so I had to upload it to mediafire. Here is the link:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Can the Dodgers make the playoffs with the acquisition of Nolasco

With the acquisition of Ricky Nolasco earlier today it shows the Dodgers are in win now mode and they should be. Right now they are 41-44 but 3.5 games back in the division. They are definitely in the playoff hunt and need to win a lot more games in the second half to be a great team.

 The acquisition of Ricky Nolasco really helps their cause and makes them a legitimate contender. He had a pretty good ERA of 3.58 and has a 3.99 ERA against the NL West. He is probably one of the most underrated pitchers in the games right now and being on a dismal Miami team doesn't help either.

My projections for Nolasco? I think he will do pretty well with a pretty good offense to support him.

My projected LA Rotation now:
with Chris Capuano moving to the 'pen

Thursday, July 4, 2013

How will Crush Davis do in the second half

Chris Davis has been unbelievable this year. He is batting .331 with 32 home runs and 83 RBIS. He is a no doubt all star and maybe the MVP. But the biggest question is how he will do in the second half. In his career Chris has batted .267 with 70 homers and 175 RBIS. In the second half he bats .273 with 36 homers and 98 RBIs.

I think that since he is hitting better than he normally does he will wind up having a great second half and could finish around the 50-60 home run mark.

Also Happy 4th everybody.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Can Manny Ramirez still be productive

With the reports today coming from Dallas News (Link) that  the Rangers have signed Manny Ramirez to a minor league deal and will go to the Rangers in a couple days. Earlier this season he played for a Taiwan league team and did pretty well hitting .352 with 8 homers and 43 RBIs. But the question is will that translate back to America. Manny is well known for being a great power hitter but also has been suspended twice for steroid use.

Honestly I doubt Manny will have that success translate over to the big leagues he is 41 years old and was awful in 2011 before being suspended and "retiring". He went 1-17 with Tampa Bay with no homers and 1 RBI. But if he does well it will be fun to watch. If he struggles it will mean the end. I wish Manny good luck as he goes to Texas and try to recover his career.

For now I leave you highlights of his big league career when he was bopping a boat-load of homers

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

About Me

My name is Dylan I am 13 years old. Personally I am a Cubs fan but I try to provide a view from a pro blogger than a homer. I am big into advanced stats because they determine the stars of the game and the underrated players. I want to get to the big leagues as a front office executive and become a General Manager for a big league team. I got started in advanced stats after seeing the movie Moneyball and being interested in what they done because before then I thought the bigger the payroll = more wins. But Moneyball completely changed my view and made me look more at the numbers and the splits. I love video games and playing baseball. My twitter:  Twitter.

I hope everyone enjoys my blog and if you do leave a comment and give me feedback or suggestions

Matt Garza to Padres?

Matt Garza is probably now the most likely Cubs player to be traded and in the last month he has really helped his stock as he has pitched to a 4.05 ERA in June but has been great in his last 3 starts going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and a .190/.256/.278 split against him in his last three games. He has been striking out batters left and right with a K/9 of 9.4 and a BB/9 of 2.04 which is great. The team Garza has been rumored most likely to go to is the San Diego Padres. The Padres are Jed Hoyers former team and he should know most of the farm team. I expect Garza to get a solid pitching prospect such as Matt Wisler (20) or Jose De Paula (23). They are not top flight pitchers but they are young and have done well in AA. I would also hope for a filler someone who isn't the next great player but who is organizational depth.

live chatting MLB right now

Blogging the Trade Deadline live

On July 30th-31st I will be blogging the trade deadline live. I will have a live chat (if I can get it to work). I might have a live chat tonight too.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Would Ricky Nolasco be good in the AL?

Ricky Nolasco is one of the more interesting trade chips available this trading season. It is possible he is traded to an AL team such as the Rangers or O's. But the main question is would he be successful in the AL. Lets first look at the basics AL hitters are batting .277/.311/.465. What immediately jumps out to me is the slugging percentage and batting average. The OBP against actually isn't too bad.but it still isn't impressive. Hitters are have a 107 OPS+ against him which is above average. But lets dive into more specifics. The AL East is batting .294/.340/.515 which is very bad but the numbers have been helped because of Tampa Bay being a big Marlins rival. The AL west has been hitting .112/.162/.196 in 107 at bats which is very impressive even though it is a small sample size.

I think the Rangers will consider these numbers and make a big push for him and will end up snatching him

Steve Clevenger and Carlos Marmol fiasco

What we know: Earlier today it was reported by Bruce Levine (Link) that Carlos Marmol was close to being traded to the LA Dodgers. Later it was reported that Steve Clevenger was sent to the hotel with his bags packed to await word on "where to go". His agent has said to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (Link) that Clevenger has most likely been traded. Recently it was tweeted again by Chris Cotillo that Clevenger will not be traded to Dodgers and Astros (Link).

What is to be figured out: What team Clevenger and/or Marmol is traded to and when the deal is complete.

Update: 12:15 AM: Deal most likely to be finished today barring any changes