Tag Archives: Cody Ross

Season Previews in Review: National League West


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I’ve reviewed the rest of the divisions, and now it’s onto the last division, the NL West.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Predicted Record: 74-88
Actual Record: 65-97

What a mess. The team wasn’t really expected to be good, and they weren’t. But I don’t think anyone was expecting Dan Haren not to be on the team at the end of the season, or Josh Byrnes would be employed anywhere but in the desert. The team did get some solid production from first baseman Adam LaRoche and second baseman Kelly Johnson, and made a very nice trade to acquire Daniel Hudson from the White Sox for starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. There are better days ahead with new general manager Kevin Towers at the helm, but I don’t know if they will be in 2011.

Colorado Rockies

Predicated Record: 85-77
Actual Record: 83-79

Every season, the Rockies seem to just be hanging out until around early August, at which point they turn it on and really make a push for the playoffs. They were in the race until about 2 weeks left, carried by the amazing pitching performance of Ubaldo Jimenez and MVP candidates Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. The team really did well on the Matt Holliday trade, as Gonzalez looks like he will be one of the top players in the National League for years to come.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Predicted Record: 92-70
Actual Record: 80-82

I really liked the Dodgers coming into the season. They looked poised for a division title with all the offense they appeared to have, and with the division not looking that strong, seemed almost like a lock. They did get great seasons from Clayton Kershaw and Hiroki Kuroda, but ended up moving outfielder Manny Ramirez, and not really ending up being important to the NL West race at all. The team has already resigned free agent starter Ted Lilly, but the thing that concerns me about this team is that there are really only two positions where they can make upgrades: catcher, and left field.

San Diego Padres

Predicted Record: 65-97
Actual Record: 90-72

Talk about a huge surprise. The Padres were widely expected to be a terrible team, and not perform well at all. They were carried by some solid pitching from Mat Latos and the rest of the starters, and managed to get enough offense to get 90 wins despite only having Adrian Gonzalez provide a consistent amount of offense. The team was in the race until 2 days left in the season, but wasn’t able to hold onto their division lead against the Giants. Bud Black and GM Jed Hoyer still have their work cut out for them, as the team still is unlikely to spend a lot of money on payroll, but they do have some solid prospects in their system.

San Francisco Giants

Predicted Record: 76-86
Actual Record: 92-70

The Giants really were a tale of two seasons: pre-Buster Posey, and post-Buster Posey. The team really started to take off once they inserted Posey into the lineup full time, and never looked back. They were expected to be led by their pitching, and while Tim Lincecum struggled at points during the season, him, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner really helped carry the team. Astute pickups of Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Javier Lopez, and Ramon Ramirez also helped the team to their first World Series championship in over 50 years.

Week in Review – August 23 to August 29


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (79-50) vs. Texas Rangers (73-57)
Minnesota Twins (75-56) vs. New York Yankees (80-50)

Philadelphia Phillies (73-57) vs. San Diego Padres (76-53)
Cincinnati Reds (75-55) vs. Atlanta Braves (75-55)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) .356
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) 95
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) 42
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) 107
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) 51

Wins –  C.C. Sabathia (NYY) 18
Saves – Rafael Soriano (TAM) 38
ERA – Clay Buchholz (BOS) 2.21
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) 200
WHIP – Mat Latos (SD) 0.98

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Jeff Clement, Scott Feldman, Guillermo Mota, Stephen Strasburg, Ross Ohlendorf, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton,

Return from the Disabled List:  Geovany Soto, Matt Treanor, Wade Davis, Kevin Cash, Carlos Gomez, Jeff Niemann, Matt Watson, Jim Johnson

To the Minors: Wellington Castillo, Sam Fuld, Taylor Teagarden, Travis Buck, Mike Ekstrom, Anthony Slama, Matt Watson, Mike Minor, Glen Perkins,

Called Up: Casper Wells, Micah Hoffpauir, Chris Valaika, Matt Carson, Fernando Salas, Ryan Roberts, Cameron Maybin, Sam LeCure, Collin Balester, Scott Maine, Alex Cora, Franklin Morales, Jordan Zimmermann, Juan Francisco

Other Roster Moves:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • The biggest story in the sport this week, unfortunately, was the injury to phenom Stephen Strasburg. After it was all said and done, it sounds like he’s going to need the dreaded Tommy John surgery, and will miss 12-18 months. I do find it interesting how much grief that the Nationals have received related to this, and I don’t believe that there is anything that they could have done any differently. I also find it interesting the amount of chatter about whether or not he may not pitch in the Majors ever again. To me, this seems almost ridiculous based on the success rate that has been achieved on this surgery in the past. Time will tell, but I think he’ll come back and should be good to go by 2012.
  • Indians’ prospect Hector Rendon is going to be needing the dreaded surgery as well, and I know I had viewed him as a potential keeper for my deep fantasy league until this came up. Check back on him in 2012 also.
  • Deadspin ran a group of posts in which they had managed to get their hands on the financial statements of a few of the “poorer” teams in the Majors, notably the Marlins and the Pirates. There’s been a lot of flack aimed at both of them, and it sounds like it may also end up costing the Marlins some extra money as the city of Miami is unhappy with the amount of profit the team is making considering they are publicly financing a new stadium for the team. There’s a great writeup of an interview with a CPA by PiratesProspects (via MLBTradeRumors), and Kristy Dosh over at It’s a Swing and a Miss had a great writeup about it as well.
  • Jose Bautista continues to hit homeruns at a rather ridiculous rate considering his past performance, and of course was “accused” of being on steroids last week. I find it extremely interesting, and tend to agree with Jeff Sullivan’s post over at Lookout Landing: why do we initially jump to this conclusion, and why is it not as big of a deal when a reporter with a newspaper makes the accusation?
  • The Twins acquired closer Brian Fuentes from the Angels on Friday, and Fuentes took his parting shot on the way out of town. I think that the fact that they booed him had more to do with the fact that he didn’t pitch well, not the fact that they didn’t like you. 6 losses, 3.76 ERA, and 42 walks in 93 innings generally don’t make anybody all that happy with their closer, regardless of how many saves (71) they record in 2 seasons.
  • Johnny Damon was claimed by the Red Sox, and there was some debate whether or not he would waive his no-trade clause to return to Boston. Well, he didn’t. Probably better for everyone involved that didn’t happen.
  • Roy Oswalt ended up playing in the outfield in an extra-inning game this week after the Phillies ran out of position players and Ryan Howard was ejected. Wezen-Ball had a very interesting write up of the last few times that a pitcher has played the field.
  • It was finally determined on Sunday evening, most likely after his ejection after seeing one pitch in the game, that Manny Ramirez would simply be given to the White Sox after being awarded their waiver claim for him. Ought to be interesting to see him and Ozzie interact.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday: I’ll be continuing on with the Original Draft Series, posting team #7

Wednesday: Month in Review for the month of August.

Saturday:  I’ll be starting a month-long (once a week) series on the group of trades that were made by the Firesale Marlins from the end of their championship run in 1997 through the following season. Part 1 will be up on Saturday.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ’Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

Original Draft Series – Team # 19 – Detroit Tigers


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #19: Detroit Tigers

General Managers(since 1994)

Joe Klein (1994-1995): 113-146
Randy Smith (1996-2002): 466-666
Dave Dombrowski (2003-Current): 529-606

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 1 1 0 3 3 4 6

The Tigers have actually had a surprisingly low amount of success. When I started to think about the Tigers’ performance over the last 15 years, I thought that they had done reasonably well at some point during the time. I knew that the team had some pretty horrendous seasons (2002 comes to mind), but I was a big surprised at how bad some of the other years had been as well. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Alex Avila 2008 – 5th Rd 2 69 gm, .253/.342/.437, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB, 19 R Currently with Org.
1B Jeff Larish 2005 – 5th Rd 5 74 gm, .242/.323/.404, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 2 SB, 25 R Currently with Org.
2B Scott Sizemore 2006 – 5th Rd 4 30 gm, .206/.297/.289, HR, 8 RBI, 12 R Currently with Org.
3B Brandon Inge 1998 – 2nd Rd 12 1 All Star Appearance
1221 gm, .237/.306/.295, 129 HR, 522 RBI, 40 SB, 469 R
Currently with Org.
SS Ramon Santiago Int’l FA – 1998 6+5 485 gm, .249/.316/.342, 19 HR, 122 RBI, 26 SB, 170 R Traded to SEA – 1/8/04
LF Ryan Raburn 2001 – 5th Rd 9 301 gm, .258/.320/.441, 25 HR, 106 RBI, 12 SB, 112 R Currently with Org.
CF Curtis Granderson 2002 – 3rd Rd 7 1 All Star Appearance
722 gm, .271/.343/.482, 109 HR, 321 RBI, 73 SB, 461 R
Traded to NYY – 12/8/09
RF Brennan Boesch 2006 – 3rd Rd 4 49 gm, .337/.389/.624, 11 HR, 39 RBI, 2 SB, 24 R Currently with Org.
DH Cameron Maybin 2005 – 1st Rd (10) 2 24 gm, .143/.208/.265, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 SB, 8 R Traded to FLA – 12/4/07
SP Justin Verlander 2004 – 1st Rd (2) 6 2006 Rookie of the Year, 2 All Star Appearances
73-48, 3.92 ERA, 833 K, 316 BB, 936 IP, 1.271 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Rick Porcello 2007 – 1st Rd (27) 3 18-16, 4.59 ERA, 122 K, 74 BB, 1.440 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Jair Jurrjens Int’l FA – 2003 4 3-1, 4.70 ERA, 13 K, 11 BB, 30.2 IP, 1.292 WHIP Traded to ATL – 10/29/07
SP Jeff Weaver 1998 – 1st Rd (14) 4 39-51, 4.33 ERA, 477 K, 209 BB, 714.2 IP, 1.311 WHIP Traded to NYY – 7/5/02
SP Brian Moehler 1993 – 6th Rd 9 48-52, 5.07 ERA, 446 K, 227 BB, 809 IP, 1.397 WHIP Traded to CIN – 7/23/02
RP Joel Zumaya 2002 – 11th Rd 8 13-11, 5 SV, 2.96 ERA, 209 K, 112 BB, 206.2 IP, 1.345 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Ryan Perry 2008 – 1st Rd (21) 2 1-5, 4.32 ERA, 78 K, 50 BB, 83.1 IP, 1.536 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jason Frasor 1999 – 33rd Rd 4 No Major League Appearances Traded to LAD – 9/18/02
RP Burke Badenhop 2005 – 19th Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to FLA – 12/4/07
RP Fernando Rodney Int’l FA – 1997 12 15-30, 4.28 ERA, 314 K, 170 BB, 330 IP, 1.424 WHIP Free Agency – 11/5/09
CL Francisco Cordero Int’l FA – 1994 5 2-2, 3.32 ERA, 19 K, 18 BB, 19 IP, 1.947 WHIP Traded to TEX – 11/2/09
BN Omar Infante Int’l FA – 1999 8 494 gm, .253/.298/.386, 32 HR, 154 RBi, 34 SB, 192 R Traded to CHC – 11/12/07
BN Cody Ross 1999 – 4th Rd 5 6 gm, .211/.286/.421, HR, 5 RBI, R Traded to LAD – 4/1/04
BN Scott Moore 2002 – 1st Rd (8) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CHC – 2/9/05
BN Andres Torres 1998 – 4th Rd 6 81 gm, .214/.264/.282, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 8 SB, 31 R Free Agency – 4/22/04
BN Trever Miller 1991 – 1st Rd (41) 5 0-4, 9.18 ERA, 8 K, 9 BB, 16.2 IP, 2.22 WHIP Traded to HOU – 12/10/96

June Amateur Draft

The Tigers have had some really good luck with their top picks of late, with Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello both providing solid performance so far at the Major League level. In addition, top picks Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin were both used to acquire current MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera. They are starting to show some value out of their picks in recent years, with Scott Sizemore, Brennan Boesch, and Alex Avila all starting to bear fruit. One of the keys for the Tigers has been their willingness to pay over slot to their top picks of late, as they have had players who have fallen to them as a result of other teams’ unwillingness to pay those top picks.

International Free Agency

The Tigers haven’t really had a whole lot of success in the international market of late. They had some solid pick ups with Fernando Rodney and Francisco Cordero, but aside from Jair Jurrjens, they haven’t really had any impact signees in a while. Granted that international signees take longer to bear fruit, but even their top-10 from Baseball America doesn’t have a whole lot of IFA signees on it.

Overall Grade

I give the Tigers a grade of C. They have had some excellent draft picks (Verlander, Weaver, Inge, Granderson), and have turned a few others (Miller, Maybin, Cordero) into solid players via trades. There are still some gaps in this roster, with players who have not played for the Tigers or very little for the Tigers, but overall it is a solid roster.

Team Preview – Florida Marlins


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C John Baker SP 1 Josh Johnson
1B Gaby Sanchez SP 2 Ricky Nolasco
2B Dan Uggla SP 3 Anibal Sanchez
3B Jorge Cantu SP 4 Sean West
SS Hanley Ramirez SP 5 Andrew Miller
LF Chris Coghlan Bullpen
CF Cameron Maybin CL Leo Nunez
RF Cody Ross RP Dan Meyer
Bench RP Taylor Tankersley
IF Emilio Bonifacio RP Reynel Pinto
C Ronny Paulino RP Brian Sanches

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
RP Mike MacDougal Free Agency 1B Nick Johnson Free Agency
RP Matt Lindstrom Trade (HOU)
RF Jeremy Hermida Trade (BOS)

Top Prospects: Mike Stanton (OF), Logan Morrison (1B), Matt Dominguez (3B), Kyle Skipworth (C)

2009 Review

The Marlins finished the 2009 season with an 87-75 record, good for 2nd place in the NL East. The offense was led by SS Hanley Ramirez (.342, 24 HR, 27 SB) and his newly signed contract extension. That extension was really one of the big stories of the year for the Marlins, as they committed long term to a player, which they had not really been known for doing to that point. They also got solid performance on the offense from 2B Dan Uggla (31 HR, 90 RBI), 3B Jorge Cantu (16 HR, 100 RBI), and CF Cody Ross (24 HR, 90 RBI). The pitching staff was anchored by Josh Johnson (15-5, 3.23 ERA) and Anibal Sanchez (13-9, 195 K).

Team Outlook for 2010

The Marlins really didn’t do a whole lot during the offseason, mostly choosing to take low-risk, high-upside free agents like Mike MacDougal. They didn’t really need to improve at too many positions, as nearly every position was staffed by a solid player. They will need to see some improvement out of the starting rotation, mostly due to consistency issues. If they can get solid performances out of Anibal Sanchez, Sean West, and Andrew Miller, They will also look for some reasonable performance from rookie Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez will most likely feel some pressure though, as Logan Morrison is probably only between 1 and 2 seasons away at most.

The hard part for the Marlins at this point is to convince the fans that they are really trying to win. They have outperformed expectations in each of the last 2 seasons, but probably need to take the next step to get to the playoffs. The thing to me with the Marlins is that they need everything to fall their way for them to have that happen. If they are lacking in offense late in the season, they could call on OF Mike Stanton, one of the top prospects in all the minor leagues. Although he is only 20 years old, he could conceivably play a big role in their end of season performance.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Hanley Ramirez stands out amongst everyone else on the Marlins, and realistically everyone not named Albert Pujols. Other solid fantasy players include 2B Dan Uggla, SP Josh Johnson, and 3B Jorge Cantu. Someone to target in my opinion is SP Ricky Nolasco. His ERA doesn’t really tell the whole story from 2009, and he should see some improvement in that category.

Prediction for 2010

The Marlins should be competitive in their division again this season, and I think that with a little luck they could conceivably make a playoff run. But unless something unusual happens, it’s going to be as a Wild Card, because the Phillies are going to be hard to get past in the division.

85-77, 2nd in the NL East

Prospect Review – Mike Stanton – OF – FLA


Baseball-Reference.com Profile
FanGraphs.com Profile

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted out of Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) by the Marlins in the 2nd round (76th overall)
Age: 20

Statistics
2008 – Greensboro (Sally League – Marlins A) – 125 games

  • .293/.381/.611
  • 39 hr, 97 rbi
  • 58 bb, 153 k

2009 – Jupiter (Florida State League – Marlins High-A) – 50 games

  • .294/.390/.578
  • 12 hr, 39 rbi
  • 28 bb, 45 k

2009 – Jacksonville (Southern League – Marlins AA) – 79 games

  • .231/.311/.455
  • 16 hr, 53 rbi
  • 31 bb, 99 k

2009 Totals

  • .255/.341/.501
  • 28 hr, 92 rbi
  • 59 bb, 144 k

2009 – Mesa Solar Sox (Arizona Fall League – not counted towards totals) – 6 games

  • .478/.538/.609
  • 1 hr, 2 rbi
  • 3 bb, 8 k

Prospect Rankings
Baseball America – #1 (FLA – 2010), #2 (FLA – 2009)
Project Prospect – #2 (Corner OF – 11/2009), #9 (Position Players – 9/2009)
Baseball Prospectus – #2 (FLA – 11/2008)
John Sickels – #4 (FLA – 3/2009)

Anaylsis

In 2008, Stanton truly announced his presence, pounding home runs at a prodigious rate for Single-A Greensboro. He finished the season with 39 of them, along with a .293/.381/.611 line, albeit with a slightly elevated BABIP of .355. And all of this while he is still only 18 years old. Needless to say, expectations of a continuance of this power was expected out of Stanton for 2009. And while he did not hit for quite the same amount of power (28 homers between 2 levels), he still maintained quite a power clip, posting a .501 slugging percentage between the two levels.

Now, I’ve mentioned previously that I think that the ability to draw a walk is critical to long-term success in the Majors. I think that players who draw at least a similar amount of walks to the amount of strikeouts they have will generally be more successful. That said, I believe that as long as a player can at least draw some walks, they should be alright. Stanton posted walk rates of 9% (2007), 11% (2008), and 10% (2009), which are all definitely respectable numbers for many a hitter.

Obviously, the amount of strikeouts he is having each year is of some concern. In 2008, he struck out in 32% of his at bats, and slightly decreased that number in 2009, bringing it to 30%. So I wondered how a couple of high power, high strikeout hitters looked in comparison.

Ryan Howard – Career: 13% walk rate, 33% strikeout rate
Adam Dunn – Career: 17% walk rate, 32% strikeout rate
Jack Cust – Career: 18% walk rate, 40% strikeout rate

All 3 players have had varying levels of success in the Majors, with Howard and Dunn clearly ahead of Cust. While I think it is definitely premature to include Stanton in the same group, I think that they make good comps. I think that Stanton’s walk rate of around 10% in the minors would translate reasonably well to the Major Leagues, and that he needs to try to cut down his strikeout rates ever so slightly. He is probably always going to be a power hitter, and not ever really hit for average in the majors. Not that everyone needs to be a hitter for average.

Stanton was drafted as a first baseman out of high school, but has since been converted to a right fielder. He played there almost exclusively in 2009, and had 10 assists out there during the season. He posted a Total Zone rating of 5 in RF in 2009, which would make him a slightly above-average fielder at the position as well.

Outlook

The future is really bright for Stanton, as he has shown huge flashes of power, and at least a reasonable ability to hit in general. And all of this prior to the age of 20. While I think he is probably a couple of years away still, he should start next season back at AA Jacksonville, and hopefully will spend a majority of the season there. The Marlins are not necessarily known for rushing some of the prospects, and with the Major League outfield having reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, Cody Ross, and up-and-comer Cameron Maybin penciled in for next season, they won’t really need his bat in Miami for at least another season. I am really looking forward to seeing what Stanton does next year.

Prediction for 2010

.265/.355/.500, 27 hr, 90 rbi (AA)

Expected ETA

Mid-Season 2011, most likely 2012.