I want to ride my–ooh, I didn’t think that one out…
Boston destroyed the Orioles 18-10, so when Mariano Rivera got the final 3 outs, I let out a big “Whew!”
I mean, seriously, the Yanks were on the fringe to lose first place faster than Miley Cyrus lost her innocence. Buh-dum bum TISS!
But I guess this is a lesson for me; to never lose faith in the Yankees. I didn’t even watch the beginning of the game, I was honestly more interested in watching an old Mets Classic on SNY from 2007(in my defense, Tim Lincecum was pitching that day and he had short hair) than watching us get clobbered and swept by the Whtie Sox. I eventually figured “Oh, what the heck” and switched back to YES, and I was greeted by a three run bomb by Melky Cabrera. The rest is history. Literally.
I’m so glad that Melky Cabrera got the first Yankee cycle, for three reasons.
- Melky is a Dominican, as was the last Bomber to hit a cycle, Tony Fernandez.
- I really had a feeling Melky would hit that next cycle: he just seems like the kind of person who would hit for a cycle. He’s got some pop, but he’s no slugger. He can run fairly well, but he’s no thief. He hits for decent contact, but he’s certainly not Ichiro or Mauer. He’s very much a 5 tool player, cause he can throw and field too, but he doesn’t have abundance in any of the 5 tools except for the arm.
- I was getting really, really tired of hearing “the last cycle was in 1995 by Tony Fernandez”. I had memorized that.
And also, give all the credit in the world to Jerry Hairston, Jr.(still accepting nicknames), who made us forget that Alex Rodriguez is our starting third baseman for a while. That’s pretty tough to do. Or maybe we’re just too used to Cody Ransom.
Either way, he had a couple of hits yesterday and a couple of others today, and he also made a few nice plays down there at third base. Good job… hey, I got one, J-Hey Kid. That’s his nickname from now on. You take note, Virginia.
The Song of the Day is a very pump-up hip hop song… the song is called Brooklyn Go Hard by Jay-Z and Santogold. Occasionally, when I feel sassy(because I’m usually a very sassy person), I change the part “Brooklyn we go hard” to “Yankees we go hard”. Think about it.
Also, to explain my title, see this song right here.
Stay positive, Yankee fans…
-EJ the Kid From New York
The Yankees are in first place thanks to great defense and good pitching by Sergio Mitre, combined with timely hitting. We’re executing everything as well as we need to. We’re SO GOOD!
Oh yeah, and the Red Sox have also apparently engaged in an encounter with THE ENDCAT.
See that Julia? Worked it into a post about the Yankees. Rico suave…
In all seriousness, Sergio(one of the coolest Hispanic names btw, cause then you can call him SERGE) had his sanker last night, and Mitre wasn’t playing around with that thing either. That was a SANKER. It had magnificent action on it at times with good velocity and the location was good.
As I’m writing this, Derek Jeter has just whacked a double into left center. DJ’s really surprised me this year; hitting for a great average, stealing some bases, even knocking the ball out of the park. Any time you can get that outta Captain Crunch, you’ve gotta appreciate.
Hey look at that, A-Rod with an RBI knock. 1-0 already! Jeez’m.
Anyways, back to the matter at hand, which is…
…the power sinker of Sergio Mitre. While his final linescore of 5.2 innings pitched, 3 earned runs, 8 hits doesn’t seem all that impressive, keep in mind that Brian Roberts got 3 of those hits and that two of them came in the last innning he pitched.
4-0 Yankees! Two run single for Swisher! This is amazing!
Sergio Mitre could definitely be an effective, strong 5th starter for the Yankees judging on that stuff and command. He has a tough, 92-93 mph sinker that just takes a nosedive sometimes, a slow slurvey slider that can fool hitters at times, and a decent changeup, and he locates those three options pretty well. I’d like it if he can continue what he did in his first start throughout his tenure with us. It’s all that we really need from him.
Hopefully this is no Matt DeSalvo flash in the pan here.
And as for the Red Sox?
Well, they’ve just made a trade for Adam LaRoche with the Pirates, so that’s really got to suck for Andy LaRoche, his brother. This acquisition of LaRoche has got to mean something’s up with Mike Lowell or maybe even Big Papi. So something’s up there. Another reason they’re struggling is because of two acquisitions in which I remember I was never high on in the first place: Brad Penny and John Smoltz. I remember there was a lot of fuss over both signings. People were saying it was a good acquisition, getting Penny because he’s a former all star, he could give them something etc. I was all “Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?” on that, and I knew that Brad Penny was going to have a bad year. You can see that in my comparison of the Yanks’ and Red Sox’ rotation.
And the second acquisition was John Smoltz. People were thinking he’d be a great veteran presence who’d still be able to dominate at times. They thought he’d return to his injury and go back to his dominant ’07 form, and that he’d be a great presence in the postseason. That’s the one thing they brought up the most, the postseason. Well ladies and gentlemen, he was injured and he’s also 42 years old(and by the way looks every bit of it).
So now the Red Sox are frustrated, as you can probably tell from the above image of John Smoltz. They’ve scuffled all the way to 2nd place, and now they’ve got to watch out for them Rangers and Rays. Tampa Bay is 4 days away from making my pre season predictions for the playoffs even more ballsy and fairly correct(I’m still recovering from the Indians and Mets prediction though).
The Song of the Day is Workin’ by Good Charlotte and Young Dre…
Stay positive, Yankee fans! 4-0 Bombers and we’re in first!
-EJ the Kid From New York
Jeez’m Lord Mercy I have a lot to talk about today!
How about the Yankees these first three days?
In game one, A.J. Burnett and the Yankees defeated the Tigers by the score of 5-3, thanks to the clutch homer deep into the night off the bat of Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the 7th inning.
On the second game against the Tigers following the All Star break, the Yankees were again victorious, as 7 great innings by big lefty CC Sabathia and a longball into right field from Alex Rodriguez propelled the Bombers to a 2-1 win.
Today was the third game of the series with the Tigers, and the New York Yankees were looking for a sweep. On the mound for the Yankees was struggling young righty Joba Chamberlain. On the mound for Detroit was first time All-Star and flamethrower, Edwin Jackson.
It ended nicely from the standpoint of a Yankee fan.
Today, we had, yet again, a 2-1 victory thanks to sheer power.
Power on the mound, power at the plate. You can always depend on power from the Yankees.
I know you’re thinking, 2-1? I can see power on the mound, but power at the plate?
Well, you’re fairly right. There wasn’t power all around for the Yankee offense on today, July the 19th.
But there was enough power.
We scored both of our runs on solo homers by the 3 and 4 batters in the order, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, both of them not cheapies by any stretch of the imagination. Tex’s came on a pitch below the zone, A-Rod’s came on a pitch down and in. And they were both hit extremely well.
So with this offensive contribution by the two main components of the Yanks’ offense, Joba Chamberlain and the Yankee bullpen took the Tigers offense to town.
Joba Chamberlain scuffled with his command at the beginning, but trust me– he bounced back. He pitched like an absolute ace today: he had ace stuff, first and foremost, with a mid-90s fastball, a sharp, devastating slide piece, a hard curve and a very strong change-up. But he had command of that ace stuff, too. Although he hit a batter and walked 3 guys, that does Joba no justice. As he went deeper into his outing, he was sharp as a needle. He threw pitches in tough locations, and when you have the velocity and break that he had on his pitches, it’s practically illegal.
Joba Chamberlain, your stuff is in violation.
If he can do this consistently when he goes out there, I will love him forever.
Now on the mound tomorrow, we got the Yanks’ worst starter. It’s the veteran left hander Andy Pettitte.
Andy Pettitte has some nice outings, and occasionally a great outing, but he hasn’t been that good. His ERA is 4.80, which is not very pretty, and he’s coming off a bad start. Granted, Andy Pettitte has been known to come alive during the 2nd half, but it was actually kind of the opposite in 2008, as he wore down as the season went on and his final numbers were not very impressive. He’s going to be facing rookie right hander David Hernandez.
Now, you guys know what the deal is with Andy Pettitte, ’cause you’re mainly Yanks fans, so I don’t really need to tell you anything. I do have to let you know what we’ll be up against in Hernandez, the starter for Baltimore.
So here’s the deal on him.
I looked at his first MLB outing, where he went 5.2 innings and gave up 1 run, striking out 3. Here’s the deal on his stuff: it’s very good. And I mean, it’s good.
I can’t tell you if Hernandez has a tough breaking ball, I know he has a fastball that gets up there as hard as 95 or 96 miles per hour. and it has tough, late life and movement on it. I know that he has a slider and a change to compliment his fastball, I can’t say whether either of those are particularly tough pitches. Hernandez had 79 strikeouts in 57.1 innings in AAA Norfolk, so he was a tough cookie down there. Up here, he’s 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA. He’s inconsistent with his outings, sometimes he’s pretty good and sometimes he’s pretty bad, usually not either extreme. Although his SO numbers down in the farm system were really solid, his career high for K’s in a ballgame is 4 in the Major Leagues, and he tends to be… too hittable, I guess, for MLB batters. In 32 innings pitched, hitters have collected 38 hits off him. He doesn’t walk many batters from what I can tell from his minor league numbers and his MLB sample combined.
In other words, it could be a nice day or a tough day. We’ll see if the Yanks can get some runs off him, enough for Pettitte anyways.
Song of the Day is Linkin Park – Given Up.
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ the Kid From New York
As presented to you by me, EJ the Kid From New York. Sorry that I couldn’t make a blog entry yesterday, I was babysitting kittens with wings.
Today, I’m doing a blog that I’ve planned on doing for a long, long time. You read the title. You know what this is about. As we head towards the All-Star Game(props to Prince Fielder for juicing those balls last night), it’s time to review the disappointing players and the players who have come out of the blue and delivered more than their ballclubs could’ve imagined.
I will separate all of the surprises in this ’09 MLB season by category. and give one to three things by category. So let’s get it started, as the Black Eyed Peas say.
We begin with one of the more obvious categories when you’re discussing baseball surprises.
The Breakout Stars
Aaron Hill, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays
There’s a second baseman in the American League who isn’t as tall and as strong-looking as a lot of his fellow baseball players, but he’s already hit 20 homers prior to the ’09 All Star break and has made the All-Star Game. To go along with that, he’s been great defensively, has 114 base hits, and steals a base every now and then. He’s been one of the main reasons his ballclub has been in contention in one of the toughest divisions in the game. He is not Dustin Pedroia, he is not Ian Kinsler, or Robinson Cano. His name is Aaron Walter Hill. He is 27 years of age. He plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. His 20 big flies already give him a career high, his previous mark being 17 home runs. This year, he is better than Dustin Pedroia, better than Ian Kinsler, better than Robinson Cano,, than Brian Roberts, than almost any second baseman in this game that you can give me(Chase Utley is a rare exception). Go ahead. I dare you.
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles
Adam Jones was one of the players that the Orioles recieved in the Erik Bedard deal with the Seattle Mariners. and oh boy, is he showing it now. When you talk about athletes… when you talk about five tool players… when you talk about talent… this has to be one of the names you bring up, and if you don’t bring him up, shame on you. 12 longballs, 6 stolen bases, a .303 batting average, and not to mention Gold Glove defense. If he and Hill don’t win those Gold Gloves, it’ll be just another year in which the defensive award isn’t given to the best defensive player.
Honorable Mentions: Russell Branyan, Juan Pierre, Adam Lind
Andruw Jones, OF, Texas Rangers
You know the story.
New York Mets, 42-45, 6.5 Games Out of NL East
This is a ballclub that even I predicted would make the World Series– boy, how naive I was. These Mets have David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado on offense, Johan Santana leading a rotation with talented on-the-rise sinkerballer Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez, a guy who can be so nasty at times and is inconsistent but he could work that out, and they had a bullpen that after blowing so many games last year was revamped and supercharged with Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, and JJ Putz and they were going to be so good! What possibly could have happened? Well, almost all of the players I just named have been sidelined for a long while now with injuries, and after trading away so many minor leaguers for Johan Santana and Putz and not focusing on building that farm system, they have absolutely no depth. Depth is what separates the contenders(Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers) and the pretenders, namely the Mets.
Chicago Cubs, 43-43, 3.5 Games Out of NL Central
The Chicago Cubs were supposed to, for the second consecutive year, be the powerhouse of the National League(mainly in the regular season). They had signed Milton Bradley, a guy who put up great offensive numbers in the 2008 season and who was a switch hitter, able to mix things up in that right handed heavy lineup. They had the returns of All Star starting pitchers Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, and they had Gold Glover Derrek Lee at first who can also swing it with the best of ’em, and Hank Aaron Award winner and good fielding 3rd baseman Aramis Ramirez, and Rookie of the Year backstop and All-Star Geovany Soto. So what happened here? Basically, Milton Bradley, defensively and offensively, stunk. Really bad. Aramis Ramirez got injured. Alfonso Soriano, after a good start, couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. And even though they haven’t been that bad this year, they certainly have disappointed their fans and a ton of people who predicted they’d win it.
Honorable Mentions: Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics
That’s it for today.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
If there is anyone I missed, please say so in the comments below.
-EJ the Kid From New York
We’ll start with the Yankees-Mariners ballgame.
Last night, the Yankees won again, continuing their 6-game winning streak. Joba Chamberlain turned in a decent start and, needless to say, got a no decision. After Alex Rodriguez hit a towering homer to left to give the Yanks a lead, Brian Bruney once again looked off and had an awful outing. However, Brunester got himself the W when the Yankees came back to score 3 runs off the Mariners’ Sean Green, headed by an RBI double by Mr. Clutch, Melky Cabrera, who had 3 RBI that day.
And how about Melky Cabrera this year? He’s on pace to hit 13 or 14 homers, be in the 60s or 70s in RBI, and steal 10 or 11 bases. That’s nowhere near what we’ve expected Lil’ Leche to be after that severely disappointing year he had in 2008.
Now, while that win is all fine and dandy, something else happened in the AL East that is about 7 thousand times more awesome.
The Red Sox got pwn’d.
After facing a commanding Red Sox lead of 10-1, those beautiful beautiful Orioles down in Baltimore rallied for 10 runs over the next few innings, the last couple off of dominant closer Jonathan Papelbon. How freaking unbelievable is that?! It’s hard enough facing the Red Sox losing 2-1, but 10-1? What happened now, Boston?! I thought you could pitch?
And guess what? As I speak, the Red Sox are losing to the Baltimore Orioles by the score of 1-0! These guys are incredible!
Nick Markakis is dreamy, too…
And once again, even though the Subway Series has been over for well over 48 hours now, I still find myself talking about the patheticness of the New York Mets.
Johan Santana was angry after a 4 run inning full of sloppiness(what else is new, it’s the Mets!), he was shouting, he was just pissed. And you know what? It’s good that he was pissed. Somebody’s gotta be pissed!
I don’t think Johan Santana should have been shouting and screaming like a madman, let’s be clear on that. However, I also don’t agree with Johan getting in the dugout, breathing for a couple seconds and telling F-Mart(you see his mistake above) “I’m sorry, I should’ve picked you up.” Instead, I would have rather seen The Johan use his anger in a more calculated manner. When you shout and yell, you only scare the heck out of everybody. You only intimidate and that doesn’t do anything but hurt your cause.
Instead, Johan Santana should have gotten into the dugout, dropped his glove and said “What’s the point of me working my **** off every day and giving my all every five days when I know I’m going to lose anyway?”
And that gets to you. It sends the team a message. “Dude, you’re letting me down. I’m frustrated here.”
But no, the Mets have no true leaders in their clubhouse. They don’t seem to have a single player who knows how to get to his teammates and control his dugout. And when you don’t have a leader like that who can motivate his team, all you have are a bunch of frustrated ballplayers. And guess what? That only compounds the problem.
It’s sad what has happened to this Mets ballclub.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York
Yesterday was a tough loss, we had a lot of stuff going for us offensively and pitching wise, not to mention the 17 game errorless streak being continued, and to see it slip away like that was not exactly thrilling. However, it wasn’t a discouraging game to say the least, being that we’re still in first place and we did come back on the shoulders of Marky Mark.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira have been red hot this road trip, and they’ve collected long hitting streaks over 10, I’m not sure what the exact numbers are but they are fairly big. Hopefully, Joba can pitch well today and we can take advantage of this great Yankee offense and blow out the Indians, who have soft tossing southpaw Jeremy Sowers on the mound for them.
Some background on Sowers as the first inning has ended, still 0-0 in Chase Field Yanks-Indians: Jeremy Bryan Sowers, 6’1″, 180 lbs, is 1-2 with an ERA very well over 7. Ever since his 127 ERA+ in ’06 for Cleveland, he’s been the epitome of suckiness: a 6.42 ERA in 07, a 5.58 ERA in ’08, and you see his numbers up there. Sowers has below average stuff and doesn’t strike out many batters, so his key is to throw quality strikes(something Flash Flaherty talked about last year with Chien-Ming Wang) and pitch to contact.
Okay, so apparently we have some controversy right now going on with Bob from Eat, Sleep, Baseball and I. For those of you who don’t know, Bob is an 11-year old Red Sox fan who has a blog that you can check out right here.
Bob doesn’t seem very pleased with a comment I made on him saying that Jason Varitek is much more deserving over Martinez for 2nd place on catcher votes(by a billion votes). Here’s my comment on that:
“That’s a very ignorant statement, clearly. If you compare the statistics, you can very easily see how Victor Martinez is blowing Jason Varitek out of the water this year. Martinez is hitting over 100 points higher than Varitek with a way better OPS+. And if you want to say JV’s been much better than he was last year, sure don’t seem like it from the numbers.”
Now you can call that harsh, but IMO he had it coming. Here are the statistics comparing V-Mart and Tek:
Well, Bobby did not take kindly to this. I’ll answer his long response on my last blog on the first place Yanks right ‘ere:
“Okay first off yes my comment about Varitek was not ignorant it was biassed. If Posada was third you would probably say the same thing.”
Well, I appreciate that you admit your bias: however, bias is ignorance, therefore, to say it was not ignorant, it was biased would be a funny thing to say. As for the second statement, I try not to be biased and when one guy clearly has a huge statistical advtange over my guy, I’m not going to say my guy is more deserving. I admit that Kevin Youkilis has been miles better than Mark Teixeira this season. I’m well aware that Aaron Hill and Ian Kinsler are significantly better second basemen than Robinson Cano, and I’m willing to have that discussion about Pedroia.
“And you said Victor Martinez was blowing Varitek out of the water. In some stats like OBP and batting average yes. But Varitek has more homers then Martinez and only has ten more strikeouts them Martinez. He has ten homers while Martinez has 7. Varitek’s average is .239 while Martinez’s is .350. Tek has 19 runs, 33 hits, 22 RBI’s, 17 walks, 31 strikeouts, and on OBP of .327. Martinez’s stats include 33 runs, 69 hits, 36 RBI’s, 28 walks, 21 strikeouts, and an OBP of .350.”
Bobby, that’s nice and all, but you look really silly when you present the statistics, and Martinez has done much better in every stat you put up, but because Tek has more homers Martinez is not better? That doesn’t make sense. Also, you have to realize that statistics like OBP, slugging, average, OPS, OPS+ are way more notable than homers and RBI.
“You also said that Varitek had a better season last year when he was in a massive slump. Well last year Tek batted .220 with 13 home runs, 43 RBIs, and an OBP of .313. This year he is batting .239 with 3 less home runs then he had all of last year and about half the RBIs he had last year. His OBP is also higher.”
I didn’t say Varitek had a better season last year, I said his season last year wasn’t way better than 09.
“Yes I was wrong about Martinez but seriously. You really did not have to say that. You could have just said, “Martinez is having a better year because his stats are better then Varitek, blah, blah, blah.”
In no way was what I said intended to be offensive nor was it offensive in my opinion. The most insulting sentence in that comment I guess was “that’s a very ignorant statement, clearly” which, notice how I said the statement was ignorant, not you. If I said you’re ignorant, then I could definitely see why you’d be angry. But you’re at a ten, when you need to be at a two, as Cenk Uygur would say.
“I actually voted for Jesus Flores five times even though he has only has 4 homers and 13 RBIs. Because I wanted to help you with your ‘campaign’.”
Well, thanks for voting for Flores 5 times. I appreciate it, although with the needless mentioning of his 4 homers and 13 RBI, I’d assume you really didn’t get why Flores deserved to be in. Bob, you gotta understand, again, that OBP and SLG and OPS+, and OPS and batting average are much more important than homers and RBI. I see this mistake very often among baseball fans.
I’d like to comment on some very controversial and downright unintelligent statements that Bob made in his latest blog, “The ‘Future'” because I’m bored and I like pointing out people’s mistakes. Call me whatever, I’m just for some reason like that.
“While the Orioles are having a good season for their standers they are 22-26. On the bright side they are tied for last with the Rays. So there are two young teams who many thought would be good. Both suck.”
Standards, first of all.
Second of all, nobody expected the Baltimore Orioles to be good this year. The Rays, yeah, people expected them to be good because they were amazing last year, they went to the World Series. I’m sure you know this, since they beat your Red Sox in 7 games in the ALCS and took us out of the playoffs.
“Why do both teams suck? Well, the Orioles have six veterans along with no pitching at all. I mean what other team (besides the Nationals) would have Jeremy Guthrie as their ace? The Dodgers who have the best record in baseball have nine veterans without Manny Ramirez. Along with great pitching. And ohh ya they are super young with guys like Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, James Loney, etc.”
Uhh, what’s the point of this paragraph here? Like, I thought for a second that he’d be making the experience argument, which I can understand, but then he says how the Dodgers are super young (which they’re not by the way, they just have a few young players).
And the Orioles have six veterans? I consider a veteran a person who’s played at least 4 full seasons. Let’s see here, Baltimore 25-man roster.
That’s more than 6. Even if you think a veteran has to be an ooold guy: Baez, Hendrickson, Walker, Zaun, Huff, Izturis, Mora, Wigginton. Eight.
I mean, how do you make statements like this and not check yourself?
“James Shields is three and four with an ERA of 3.63. To high for an ace.”
Yeah, and the Red Sox, their ace, Josh Beckett, has a 4.60 ERA! Man, those Red Sox suck, huh?
“When will the Rays and the Orioles get better? Never. The Rays have a one percent chance for winning the A.L. East and Baltimore what a joke they are. They have a 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance of winning the wild card for the rest of the teams future.”
This here is the one statement that set me off. Pardon me, I don’t mean to offend, but who the heck are you, Bob, to tell me who the good teams of the future and the bad teams of the future are? Are you some sort of psychic who can see into the future? What basis, what argument did you have to make that ridiculous comment? And by the way… need I remind you that for almost 100 seasons, your precious Boston Red Sox never won a single championship, and they struggled and their fans still stuck with the Sox and still loved their team. The Red Sox were awful, year after year, over and over again, always in the shadow of the powerhouse New York Yankees. I’m sure people thought they’d never win again at times. However, they finally won again in 2004, and again in ’07, and now they’re maybe the best team in the MLB. Now that you guys are the boss, you guys are winning championships, you can suddenly tell us who are and who are not going to succeed in the future? You guys, of all people should know that that’s a dumb statement.
“If the Rays and Orioles want to get better they need to fire their manager, trade for Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard. The only problem? Well, the Rays love Joe Madden and I don’t even now who the Orioles manager is.”
The Rays love Joe Maddon because he made it to the World Series last year, and because the players love him. He’s a solid manager, and easily won Manager of the Year. But of course they have to fire him! Also, if you’re going to criticize a ballclub over and over again to try to humiliate them, you could at least know a thing or two about them. It helps that they’re in the same division as you and they face you quite often during the regular season, so you would think you’d be aqcuainted with their manager. I mean, you expect us to look at your point of view in baseball seriously, yet you obviously don’t pay attention to baseball games all that much if you don’t know who the Orioles manager is.
His name is Dave Trembley. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
Now Bobby, I understand you were angry for some reason and you were taking it out on the Rays and O’s, but I blog angry sometimes, and I’m still able to make intelligent, well thought out blogs. Think things through before you rant endlessly. I don’t mean to rag on you, just saying.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ The Kid “durr, what’s their manager’s name again?” From New York
Before I start this entry, I want to apologize to y’all for not making that 2nd string of awards entry. I really wanted to do it, and I was very close to done, but MLBlogs glitched out on me and I was unable to complete it. I’ll try to do it at the end of the month and provide an even more in-depth look with more time in the season. Now, onto the entry.
You never really know who’s going to get suddenly called up and make a big impact at the major league level. It happened last year, when Mike Aviles was, during mid-season, brought up to the Royals and put up great numbers, coming quite close to winning Rookie of the Year in the American League.
Gerardo Parra was called up to the Diamondbacks this year after hitting .361 in AA. He’s currently hitting .321 at the MLB level for Arizona.
Occasionally, I like to look at the minors and try and find out who’s going to be that guy. Last year, I called to myself the calling up of Jose Arredondo and Mike Aviles, and I predicted that they’d produce at the MLB level. Well, you saw how that turned out. I found it a crime shame that I wasn’t able to share that with y’all. So, this season, I’ve decided to go public with my selections.
I’ll pick 2 minor leaguers, a pitcher and a position player, from both leagues to come up and produce in their first Major League stints. We’ll start with the American League.
Rules(Because, yes, this needs rules):
- Cannot be a top prospect, it has to be a surprise
- Selections can not have any MLB experience, not even a single plate appearance or third of an inning pitched
- Minor league level can only be as low as Double-A
Brett Harper, 1B, Las Vegas 51s(AAA Blue Jays)
The 27-year old is no young buck at AAA; however, he could get his first big MLB break soon at first base, While Lyle Overbay strugles to keep his average over .250 in Toronto, the lefty swinging Harper has already clubbed 10 homers with a .309 batting average. I would imagine the big guy would at least get a shot.
David Hernandez, SP, Norfolk Tides(AAA Orioles)
With a 3.50 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 innings, the right handed starter has done very well against his AAA opposition. With the way that Baltimore’s starting pitching has gone thus far in the season, I would imagine Hernandez is the next step out there.
Eric Young, 2B, Colorado Springs Sky Sox(AAA Rockies)
No, it’s not the energetic speedster of the nineties with the Rockies attempting a comeback, it is actually his son and his namesake. And Junior’s got a great shot at starting at second base this year, as he’s hitting .289 at AAA and he’s stolen an impressive 22 bases. With Clint Barmes putting up a non convincing .274 OBP at second base for Colorado (although he’s got a hitting streak going), it seems that the young baserunning threat could join Dexter Fowler as a rookie on the Rockies.
Cesar Ramos, SP, Portland Beavers (AAA Padres)
The struggling Padres could use this 24-year old lefty in their rotation, as it’s been difficult for San Diego’s starters to retire hitters in the NL. Ramos has a 3.27 ERA in AAA thus far through 44 innings, and so it’d be helpful if he could produce at the MLB level.
Will all of these guys come up to the major leagues and produce? Probably not. But they certainly have the potential, and the oppurtunity, to make such a thing happen.
At the end of the season, I’ll give you the numbers for each player if they do hit the big leagues, and you’ll see if I can keep these predictions up two weeks in a row.
Stay positive, Yankee fans. Winning streeeeak!
-EJ the Kid From New York