Monday, May 01, 2006

A Month of Baseball and The Future

What trends can be taken seriously after a month of baseball? Not many. Given the small sample size, it’s tough to see which ballplayers have officially “broken out;” if the ones who are slumping will continue to slump, or, better yet, whose suspensions are a sign of things to come. But this is half the reason I started a blog—to predict the future of ballplayer's throughout the mighty game of baseball. So here it goes...

Chris Shelton is not a superstar. He doesn’t look like a superstar, act like a superstar, and although he hit like one in April, is nothing more than “solid.” His OPS currently sits at 1.187 with 10 home runs. Shelton will not make it to 30 home runs. He will end the year with roughly a .280/.360/.480 line, while being an atrocious defender at first base. Enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame Sloth.

Albert Pujols isn’t Barry Bonds circa 2000-2004. Despite all the talk about walking Pujols every time he comes to the plate, I agree with most managers who choose to pitch to him. Don’t get me wrong, Pujols is really fucking good, and had a monstrous April. He has even established himself as the best hitter in baseball. I’m just saying he’s not Barry Bonds. From 2000-2004, Bonds’ lowest on base percentage was .440 and highest was .609. His slugging percentage sat between .749 and .863. Currently, Pujols’ numbers are Bonds-esque. His April line is: .346/.509/.914, but remember, this is only one month. Pujols will probably repeat as MVP and end the year with a line similar to last years, something around .340/.440/.650. Pujols is also in a much deeper lineup including Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. Who was Bonds’ right hand man? Sure, Jeff Kent for a couple years, but after that—Pedro Feliz and Lance Niekro. It might be a blessing in disguise if Pujols’ numbers quiet down a bit, if he does too well, I’m sure there’d be steroid rumors circulating.

Make no mistake about it: Delmon Young is the next Albert Belle with speed. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus made this comparison in an article a week ago, and I immediately wrote him an e-mail praising him. In case you didn’t know, Delmon Young “flipped”/threw a bat at an umpire in a minor league game last week. Delmon is the consensus number one prospect in the game. He’s an outfielder with a plus bat, plus arm, plus speed, basically, he’s good at everything, except PR. Albert Belle, a stud outfielder in the 1990’s with a short temper himself, had similar “anger” problems. Though Belle’s minor league antics aren’t really comparable to Young’s, he’s got some good major league ones. In 1991, Belle threw a ball at a fan from fifteen feet away, bruising the fan’s chest. And now I’m just going to list the other incidents: In the 1995 World Series Belle swears/threatens at commentator Hannah Storm; Chased five teenagers in a car for egging his house; Blew off an event with hitting legend Ted Williams, and delivered a forearm shiver to then Milwaukee second baseman Fernando Vina in 1996. Besides all this, Belle was a really good baseball player, and anyone would be a fool, despite all the off the field issues, not to want him on their team. Delmon’s got a lot to live up to, but it’s looking promising. I can only hope Delmon Young reaches the Majors along side Elijah Dukes and a fleet of penitentiary guards to protect the fans, managers, other players, player wives, and batboys.

Omar Vizquel is batting .375. Maybe he took my advice and started juicing…hmm, only in my most wildest of dreams. “Slick” fielding Vizquel is garbo, and will start to play like garbo (see picture below) in the near future.

The Cincinatti Reds are 17-8, the Colorado Rockies are 15-10, and the Yankees and Red Sox are only three games over .500. The Reds had similar success in 2004. Through May of that year, they compiled a record of 30-21. They ended the year with 76 wins. The magic of Aaron Harang, Brandon Claussen, Eric Milton, and Bronson Arroyo can only take you so far. Not to mention—David Weathers is their closer, and already has 8 saves. If Weathers leads the NL in saves by the end of the year, I will be along side Darren Daulton officially claiming the world is coming to an end. As for the Rockies, they are playing out of their shoes and above their heads. Beating up on the likes of the Diamondbacks, Padres, Phillies and Marlins in April, they’ll come back to earth in May. Their schedule includes Atlanta, Houston for six, the Dodgers for six, St. Louis and Toronto. There is no need to get into details with the Yankees and Red Sox. The Yankees will trade for a DH (Craig Wilson courtesy Jason Phillips), and a mediocre starter (Jamie Moyer) who will play better than they have in their entire careers and propel the Yanks into first place ala Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small in 2005. The Red Sox are still good, not Papelbon dominating April good, but for every Papelbon there is a Manny Ramirez slugging .448. Manny will pick it up enough for the Sox to take the AL wild card lead.

By the way, incase you were lucky enough to get off work today because of the immigrant strike, like myself, you can start the party early—Yanks @ Sox 7:05 PM EST.


Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Okay fine the reds might not win the central, but do you really have to burst my bubble like this...seriously...can't a man dream for once. And David Weathers is all sorts of awesome Sandro...lay off him just cuz he sucked as a Met and as a Yankee...c'mon what pitcher doesn't hit his prime at 37 years old

11:25 PM  
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