I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Mike Trout, the best player in the history of baseball, is underrated.
The seven-time All-Star selection, two-time MVP, and six-time Silver Slugger is underrated.
Mike Trout is the highest-paid player in the game of baseball. He just inked a 12-year, $430MM contract extension. That money doesn’t do justice to just how good he’s been.
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Alex Bregman headlines the list of Top 25 Players Under 25 entering the 2019 season.
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This is one of my favorite articles to write each year because, when all is said and done, I can go back to this article and pat myself on the back for the correct calls I made. And usually, I just ignore the misses and say “hey, who can really predict this stuff anyway?”
Last year, I made some good calls and some not-as-good calls. The two most notable picks were Miles Mikolas and Mike Clevinger. Mikolas threw 200.2 innings with a 2.83 ERA and 5.03 K/BB ratio after not throwing a major league pitch since 2014. Clevinger threw exactly 200 innings, setting career bests in ERA (3.02), K/BB ratio (3.09), WHIP (1.155), and FIP (3.52).
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Helton’s career was, for the most part, quietly great. He was not the subject of any controversy and once he earned the starting gig after the departure of Andres Galarraga, he just stayed on the field and hit. He was, without question, one of the best hitters in baseball during his tenure in the bigs—from 1999 to 2005, a span of seven seasons he triple-slashed .341/.442/.621—but never won an MVP award and only finished once in the top five. In 2000, unquestionably his best season, he triple-slashed .372/.463/.698 (!!!!), each leg of which led all major league players, and also hit 42 home runs and drove in a league-high 147 runs.
Read more "The Case for the Hall: Todd Helton"
An unfortunate circumstance of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s decision to limit voters to selecting players is that, occasionally, a player who deserves a plaque in Cooperstown does not get one. The 10 player limit on ballots is out of place in today’s Hall of Fame voting landscape where, by my evaluation this year, 18 players on the ballot are at least worthy of very serious consideration for admission to Cooperstown. I’m not suggesting that the folks in charge of setting the Hall of Fame voting rules should remove the restriction entirely, but what’s stopping them from expanding the ballot to 12 or 13 players? Nothing except tradition.
Read more "My 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot"
When all was said and done, Rolen finished his career as one of the best defensive third basemen of all-time who also carried an above-average bat for the majority of his career. The trouble is that Rolen was never seen as a team leader, and never led the league in any statistical categories. For voters that are all-in on triple crown stats, Rolen’s leave something to be desired—his 2077 hits would be the lowest total of any third baseman enshrined since World War II and his run and RBI totals are good, but nothing spectacular. Additionally, his reputation as a “clubhouse cancer,” as some teammates in Philadelphia referred to him, is doing him no favors.
Read more "The Case for the Hall: Scott Rolen"
According to Fangraphs’ Defensive Runs Above Average stat (DEF), which attempts to measure a player’s value relative to others at his position and relative to other positions, Jones’ DEF is 278.8, first among all outfielders to ever play the game of baseball. Jones’ DEF is eons ahead of second place Willie Mays’ DEF, which is a mere 100 runs lower at 170.1. The gap between Jones’ 278.8 DEF and Mays’ 170.1 DEF is larger than the gap between Mays’ DEF and 27th-placed Chet Lemon’s 63.3 DEF. And Baseball Reference agrees with Fangraphs—they credit Jones with 234.7 runs saved from fielding, first among all outfielders ever.
Read more "The Case for the Hall: Andruw Jones"