Tag Archives: Guy Speed

5 Players Likely to be Traded This Deadline

The July 31st trade deadline is always one of the most exciting stretches of time for fans.

Whether it’s acquiring a front line pitcher like Zack Greinke or a back-up catcher like Kelly Shoppach, fans can’t help but hope their home team improves for the playoff push. The 2013 trade deadline, while 2.5 months away, will be no different.

Here are five players who will likely be on the move this year. Continue reading

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The Resurgence of Nate McLouth

It wasn’t too long ago that Nate McLouth was one of the more exciting, young outfielders in baseball. In 2008, McLouth–in his fourth major league season–posted a 125 OPS+, 26 HR, and 23 SB campaign for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The then 26 year-old also led the league with 46 doubles.

Perhaps channeling incredible foresight, the Pirates dealt the recently-extended McLouth mid-2009 to the Atlanta Braves for a package of prospects. At the time, it seemed as though the Braves had acquired a franchise cornerstone–but unfortunately, it couldn’t have been further from the case. Continue reading

5 MLB Prospects Making the Most of Their Unexpected Playing Time

It’s hard to believe it, but there has officially been a full month of baseball. While a month might be too early to, say, tab the currently reigning Kansas City Royals as the “team to beat” in the AL Central, it is a reasonable period of time to react to rookies’ performances.

Out of spring training, there were five notable prospects who, for one reason or another, were able to win a spot on their respective organization’s major league rosters. Below is a pulse check on how those five are currently performing. Continue reading

Justin Upton Trade Already Haunting Diamondbacks

In 2011, Justin Upton emerged as an elite hitter in the major leagues. Upton, then 23 years old, already had a 26-home run season under his belt, but 2011 was different. His 141 OPS+ ranked just outside the top 10 in the National League, and his 31 home runs were tied for ninth. Upton’s maturation into one of the league’s finest hitters was not a surprise; success was always an expectation.

Upton was the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. After dominating at all levels in the minors, the Arizona Diamondbacks promoted the 19 year-old to the show — where he became a fixture in the Diamondbacks outfield for the next five seasons.

But after a rough 2012 season in which the hitter posted a comparatively mediocre .280/.355/.430 line and just 17 home runs, the formerly untouchable stud became expendable. Continue reading

Will the Washington Nationals Be the Next Baseball Dynasty?

In 2012, the Washington Nationals advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1981. Just to give you a sense of how long ago that was, Ronald Reagan was in the ninth month of his first term as president, ‘Endless Love’ by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie was blowing up the airwaves, and the Nationals were still the Montreal Expos.

Yet, the team’s 98 win season last year was no fluke. While the Nats made a big off-season acquisition by trading for Gio Gonzalez, one can really attribute their success to the big contributions by former first round picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

Strasburg, who had required Tommy John surgery in late-August 2010, hurled a dominant 3.16 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 4.10 K/BB over 159.3 innings. His incredible 11.13 K/9 clip also bested any other starting pitcher in the major leagues.

The 19-year-old Harper looked like a veteran All-Star in his rookie debut, posting a .270/.340/.477 line with 22 HR and 18 SB, while gloving a 1.4 dWAR. In addition, his 5.2 WAR ranked just outside the top twenty.

With a homegrown core of Strasburg, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, and Ross Detwiler, as well as trade and free agent acquisitions like Gonzalez, Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Dan Haren, Rafael Soriano, and Tyler Clippard, the organization has the makings of a dynasty. Continue reading

The Yankees Are a Terrible Team… for Now

The New York Yankees have won 27 World Championships in their storied history- – five of which coming in the past 16 years. The Yanks have also made the playoffs 16 times in the last 17 seasons, only missing out in 2008. And despite trash talk from envious onlookers, the franchise has achieved these incredible feats with mostly homegrown players at the helm.

Yet, as dominant as the Yankees have been since 1995, this coming season looks pretty grim. In fact, it would be fair to say that the Yankees will be a bad team in 2013.

Three cornerstones of the bombers offense — Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez — will each be missing at least two-to-three months with a range of serious injuries. Derek Jeter, the team captain, is highly doubtful for the start of the season, due to the lingering effects of off-season ankle surgery. And injury aside, at age 38, Jeter’s production will be an unknown. Additionally, even though Mariano Rivera has looked himself during Spring Training (0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 7.00 K/BB over 5 IP), after missing the majority of last season with a torn right ACL, the durability of a 43-year-old is suspect.

The team also had a very quiet off-season, re-signing Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Ichiro Suzuki, while only adding Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay, Brennan Boesch, and Vernon Wells out of pure depth necessity. Would the late George Steinbrenner ever want to trot out Hafner, Overbay, Boesch, and Wells in even short-term starting roles? Unlikely.

But as bleak as the New York Yankees major league squad might be in 2013, the organization’s farm system is bulging with talent. Continue reading