Tagged: Lorenzo Cain

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” Rankings Entering 2016

Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.

Beginning in 2014, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well. I continued that last year with the 2015 rankings.

I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. With January 21st came First Basemen and Starting Pitchers. On January 28th we’ll get Third Basemen and Left Fielders. February 4th and February 11th will reveal the remaining positions of Second Baseman, Right Fielders, Catchers, and Relief Pitchers.


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”

  1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
  3. Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
  4. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Jason Heyward – Chicago Cubs
  6. Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox
  7. Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays
  8. Randal Grichuk – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Carlos Gomez – Houston Astros
  10. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders is Eric Byrnes. On the CF show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of two of the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Cain, Pollock, Jones, Heyward, Gomez, Joc Pederson (LAD), Kiermaier, Eaton

Byrnes: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Cain, Jones, Jackie Bradley, Jr. (BOS), Heyward, Kiermaier, Kevin Pillar (TOR), Eaton

James: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Jones, Heyward, Cain, Kiermaier, Eaton, Charlie Blackmon (COL), Gomez

Gennaro: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Cain, Eaton, Heyward, Bradley Jr., Kiermaier, Jones, Grichuk


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”

  1. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
  2. Troy Tulowitzki – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
  4. Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
  5. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
  7. Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs
  8. Marcus Semien – Oakland Athletics
  9. Andrelton Simmons – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  10. Didi Gregorius – New York Yankees

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops is Bill Ripken. On the SS show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Correa, Crawford, Tulowitzki, Bogaerts, Simmons, Peralta, Corey Seager (LAD), Lindor, Erick Aybar (ATL), Gregorius

Ripken: Crawford,  Correa, Tulowitzki, Lindor, Russell, Bogaerts, Ian Desmond (free agent), Seager, Peralta, Simmons

James: Correa, Bogaerts, Tulowitzki, Lindor, Simmons, Andrus, Desmond, Crawford, Cabrera, Jose Reyes (COL)

Gennaro: Correa, Lindor, Crawford, Bogaerts, Simmons, Tulowitzki, Seager, Adienny Hechavarria (MIA), Russell, Peralta

Petriello: Correa, Crawford, Bogaerts, Lindor, Tulowitzki, Simmons, Seager, Russell, Peralta, Gregorius


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”

  1. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  4. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
  5. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
  7. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  9. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen is Carlos Peña. On the 1B show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Goldschmidt, Votto, Cabrera, Rizzo, Abreu, Encarnacion, Freeman, Gonzalez, Davis, Belt

Peña: Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Abreu, Rizzo, Encarnacion, Votto, Eric Hosmer (KC), Gonzalez, Davis, Albert Pujols (LAA)

James: Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Rizzo, Votto, Encarnacion, Davis, Freeman, Hosmer, Gonzalez, Abreu

Gennaro: Goldschmidt, Votto, Rizzo, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Davis, Freeman, Hosmer, Belt, Abreu

Petriello: Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Votto, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Davis, Abreu, Freeman, Gonzalez, Hosmer


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs
  3. Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. David Price – Boston Red Sox
  5. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
  6. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
  7. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
  8. Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
  9. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
  10. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
**Note: Jose Fernandez does not have enough innings pitched over the last two seasons to qualify for the Shredder’s list.

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers is John Smoltz. On the SP show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kershaw, Arrieta, Greinke, Sale, Scherzer, Keuchel, Jose Fernandez (MIA), Jacob deGrom (NYM), Wainwright, Matt Harvey (NYM)

Smoltz: Kershaw, Arrieta, Scherzer, Keuchel, Greinke, Price, Madison Bumgarner (SF), deGrom, Sale, Harvey

James: Kershaw, Greinke, Scherzer, Arrieta, Bumgarner, Price, Sale, Kluber, Jon Lester (CHC), Cole Hamels (TEX)

Gennaro: Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, Sale, Bumgarner, Fernandez, Gerrit Cole (PIT), Keuchel, Carlos Carrasco (CLE), Scherzer

Petriello: Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, Sale, Keuchel, Scherzer, deGrom, Price, Cole, Fernandez


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”

  1. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
  3. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  4. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
  5. Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
  7. Jung Ho Kang – Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
  10. Todd Frazier – Chicago White Sox

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen is Mike Lowell. On the 3B show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Donaldson, Bryant, Machado, Beltre, Arenado, Carpenter, Seager, Matt Duffy (SF), David Wright (NYM), Frazier

Lowell: Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Frazier, Beltre, Seager, Mike Moustakas (KC), Evan Longoria (TB)

Vince Gennaro (President of SABR): Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Frazier, Beltre, Duffy, Moustakas, Kang

Bill James: Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Seager, Longoria, Beltre, Frazier, Duffy

Mike Petriello: Donaldson, Machado, Arenado, Bryant, Carpenter, Beltre, Seager, Moustakas, Duffy, Longoria

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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”

  1. Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
  2. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Justin Upton – Detroit Tigers
  4. Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets
  5. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
  6. David Peralta – Arizona Diamondbacks
  7. Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins
  8. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays (traded from COL 1/28)
  10. Brett Gardner – New York Yankees

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders is Cliff Floyd. On the LF show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Marte, Gordon, Upton, Cespedes, Brantley, Holliday, Gardner, Peralta, Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Yelich

Floyd: Cespedes, Upton, Brantley, Marte, Gordon, Peralta, Schwarber, Khris Davis (MIL), Yelich, Gardner

James: Upton, Brantley, Cespedes, Marte, Peralta, Melky Cabrera (CHW), Gardner, Yelich, Gordon, Colby Rasmus (HOU)

Gennaro: Brantley, Gordon, Cespedes, Holliday, Peralta, Upton, Schwarber, Yelich, Marte, Gardner

Petriello: Cespedes, Gordon, Marte, Upton, Michael Conforto (NYM), Schwarber, Yelich, Brantley, Holliday, Peralta

Also, for what it’s worth, Brian Kenny said that Khris Davis “just, just missed” his Top 10.



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
  2. Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
  3. Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees
  4. Andrew Miller – New York Yankees
  5. Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
  6. Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Ken Giles – Houston Astros
  8. Tony Watson – Pittsburgh Pirates
  9. Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Craig Kimbrel – Boston Red Sox

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers is Dan Plesac. On the RP show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Davis, Betances, Chapman, Giles, Miller, Kimbrel, Melancon, Britton, Watson, O’Day

Plesac: Davis, Chapman, Betances, Miller, Jeurys Familia (NYM), Britton, Kimbrel, Melancon, Kenley Jansen (LAD), Trevor Rosenthal (STL)

James: Davis, Kimbrel, Chapman, Rosenthal, Melancon, Betances, Giles, Miller, Familia, Allen

Gennaro: Britton, Jansen, Miller, Chapman, Allen, Betances, O’Day, Giles, Davis, Familia

Petriello: Chapman, Davis, Jansen, Kimbrel, Britton, Miller, Betances, Allen, Familia, Melancon


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”

  1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
  2. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
  3. Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
  4. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
  5. Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Ben Zobrist – Chicago Cubs
  7. Neil Walker – New York Mets
  8. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  9. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
  10. Logan Forsythe – Tampa Bay Rays

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen is Harold Reynolds. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Cano, Altuve, Zobrist, Jason Kipnis (CLE), Kinsler, Walker, Gordon, Pedroia, Brian Dozier (MIN), Howie Kendrick (LAD)

Reynolds: Cano, Altuve, Kinsler, Pedroia, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Gordon, Dozier, Zobrist,  Rougned Odor (TEX), Walker

James: Altuve, Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler, Forsythe, Dozier, Gordon, Kipnis, Walker, Zobrist

Gennaro: Kipnis, Altuve, Panik, Kinsler, Gordon, Pedroia, Zobrist, D.J. LeMahieu (COL), Cano, Kolten Wong (STL)

Petriello: Altuve, Cano, Kipnis, Gordon, Zobrist, Kinsler, Pedroia, Panik, Walker, Odor



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”

  1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  2. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. JONATHAN LUCROY – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

  4. Francisco Cervelli – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Stephen Vogt – Oakland A’s
  6. Brian McCann – New York Yankees
  7. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  8. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  9. Derek Norris – San Diego Padres
  10. Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias.

Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers is Dave Valle. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Posey, Martin, LUCROY, Perez, Molina, Vogt, d’Arnaud, McCann, Cervelli, Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

Valle: Posey, Molina, Perez, Martin, LUCROY, Grandal, McCann, d’Arnaud, Jason Castro (HOU), Vogt

James: Posey, Perez, McCann, Martin, Molina, LUCROY, Miguel Montero (CHC), Norris, Vogt, Cervelli

Gennaro: Posey, Molina, Martin, Grandal, LUCROY, d’Arnaud, Cervelli, Montero, Vogt, Perez

Petriello: Posey, Martin, Grandal, Cervelli, McCann, Perez, Yan Gomes (CLE), Molina, LUCROY, d’Arnaud


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias.

Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders is Eric Byrnes. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

  1. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
  2. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  3. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
  5. J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
  6. Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
  7. George Springer – Houston Astros
  8. Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
  9. Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins
  10. RYAN BRAUN – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Kenny: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Betts, Martinez, Sano, Springer, Hunter Pence (SF), Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)

Byrnes: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Martinez, Springer, Curtis Granderson (NYM), Betts, Pence, Cruz

James: Harper, Bautista, Stanton, Betts, Martinez, Cruz, BRAUN, Gonzalez, Kemp, Jay Bruce (CIN)

Gennaro: Harper, Bautista, Stanton, Cruz, Martinez, Granderson, Betts, Gonzalez, Springer, Pence

Petriello: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Cruz, Betts, Springer, Sano, Choo, Gonzalez, Martinez

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” Rankings Entering 2015

Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.

Beginning last year, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well.

I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.

On Thursday, January 15, 2015 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. January 22nd had both Right Fielders and Left Fielders. Starting Pitchers and First Basemen will be revealed on January 29th. Lists for Relief Pitchers and Second Basemen came on February 5. Catchers and Third Baseman round things out on February 12.


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”

  1. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  3. Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. CARLOS GOMEZ – MILWAUKE BREWERS
  5. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
  6. Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
  7. Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox
  8. A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
  9. Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
  10. Denard Span – Washington Nationals

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Puig, 4. GOMEZ, Jones, Ellsbury, Cain, Pollock, Eaton, Leonys Martin (TEX)

Hamilton: McCutchen, Trout, 3. GOMEZ, Puig, Jones, Ellsbury, Eaton, Cain, Marcell Ozuna (MIA), Span


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
  2. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
  4. Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
  5.  J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
  6. Jordy Mercer – Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  8. Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
  9. Jed Lowrie – Houston Astros
  10. Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops is Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Tulowitzki, Peralta, Reyes, Simmons, Desmond, Brandon Crawford (SF), Hardy, Jimmy Rollins (LAD), Starlin Castro (CHC), Aybar

Ripken: Tulowitzki, Desmond, Hardy, Simmons, Castro, Crawford, Peralta, Ramirez, Aybar, Rollins


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”

  1. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  2. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
  4. Jason Heyward – St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Michael Cuddyer – New York Mets
  6. Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
  7. Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
  8. Brandon Moss – Cleveland Indians
  9. Matt Kemp – San Diego Padres
  10. J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders is Cliff Floyd Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Stanton, Bautista, Harper, Heyward, Kemp, 6. RYAN BRAUN (MIL), Shin-Soo Choo (TEX), Pence, George Springer (HOU), Gonzalez

Floyd: Stanton, Bautista, Kemp, Harper, Moss, Martinez, Pence, Kole Calhoun (LAA), Heyward, 10. BRAUN


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”

  1. Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox
  2. Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
  3. Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
  4. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
  6. Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
  7. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  8. Corey Dickerson – Colorado Rockies
  9. Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
  10. Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders is Eric Byrnes Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Gordon, Marte, Brantley, Werth, Upton, Ramirez, Holliday, Brett Gardner (NYY), Cruz, Melky Cabrera (CHW)

Byrnes: Brantley, Upton, Werth, Gordon, Holliday, Marte, Cruz, Dickerson, Ramirez, Yoenis Cespedes (DET)


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
  3. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
  4. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
  6. Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
  7. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
  8. David Price – Detroit Tigers
  9. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
  10. Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers is John Smoltz Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kershaw, Hernandez, Sale, Scherzer, Wainwright, Kluber, Cueto, Yu Darvish (TEX), Jon Lester (CHC), Anibal Sanchez (DET)

Smoltz: Kershaw, Sale, Bumgarner, Scherzer, Hernandez, Cueto, Lester, Wainwright, Price, Kluber


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”

  1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  2. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  3. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
  4. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  5. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  6. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
  7. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
  8. Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
  9. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  10. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen is Carlos Peña. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Goldschmidt, Cabrerea, Abreu, Votto, Rizzo, Freeman, Gonzalez, Encarnacion, Santana, Prince Fielder (TEX)

Peña: Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Abreu, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, Albert Pujols (LAA), Justin Morneau (COL), Votto, Freeman, Rizzo



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
  2. Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
  3. Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
  4. Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
  5. Joaquin Benoit – San Diego Padres
  6. Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
  7. Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
  9. Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Tony Watson – Pittsburgh Pirates

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers is Dan Plesac. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kimbrel, Holland, Chapman, Betances, Davis, Uehara, Huston Street (LAA), Steve Cishek (MIA), Kenley Jansen (LAD), Andrew Miller (NYY)

Plesac: Kimbrel, Chapman, Betances, Davis, Holland, Jansen, David Robertson (CHW), Britton, Street, Uehara



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”

  1. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
  2. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  3. Ben Zobrist – Oakland Athletics
  4. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
  6. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
  7. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
  9. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
  10. SCOOTER GENNETT – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen is Harold Reynolds. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Cano, Altuve, Walker, Utley, Zobrist, Kinsler, Pedroia, Kendrick, Dozier, Jason Kipnis (CLE)

Reynolds: Cano, Pedroia, Altuve, Kinsler, Kendrick, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Dozier, Dee Gordon (MIA), Omar Infante (KC) , Kolten Wong (STL)


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”

  1. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  2. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates
  4. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
  5. David Wright – New York Mets
  6. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
  7. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  8. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  9. Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers
  10. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen is Mike Lowell. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Beltre, Donaldson, Wright, Longoria, Rendon, Carpenter, Seager, Todd Frazier (CIN), Arenado, Manny Machado (BAL)

Lowell: Beltre, Donaldson, Rendon, Wright, Longoria, Harrison, Arenado, Seager, Carpenter, Pablo Sandoval (BOS)



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”

  1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  2. JONATHAN LUCROY – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
  3. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians
  5. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Devin Mesoraco – Cincinnati Reds
  7. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  8. Brian McCann – New York Yankees
  9. Derek Norris – San Diego Padres
  10. Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers is Dave Valle. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Posey, Molina, Lucroy, Martin, Perez, Mesoraco, Gomez, Carlos Ruiz (PHI), McCann, Norris

Valle: Molina, Posey, Perez, Lucroy, Martin, Gomez, Mesoraco, McCann, Ramos, Mike Zunino (SEA)

So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.

There were five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder in 2014. They were: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th).

Which Brewers will be ranked by The Shredder heading in 2015? Turns out fans in Milwaukee get three this year. Carlos Gomez (CF, 4th), Scooter Gennett (2B, 10th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 2nd).

Why I’m Rooting For the American League

Let’s get this out of the way at the top. Thank you, San Francisco Giants! Thank you, NLCS MVP Madison Bumgarner. Thank you, Hunter Pence. Thank you, Santiago Casilla. Thank you, Pablo Sandoval. Thank you, Yusmeiro Petit. Thank you (and congrats), Tim Hudson. Thank you even to Buster Posey.

Thank you, Michael Morse for tying that one game.

Thank you, Travis Ishikawa for walking the birds off the field.

I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today without the efforts and success of the San Francisco Giants. You can drop the #EvenYear hashtag on social media. You can thank a blossomed ace in Bumgarner. You can shower praise on Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff. It’s all deserved. It’s all warranted. “THE GIANTS (WON) THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS (WON) THE PENNANT!”

And as happy as I am today that the senior circuit representative in this year’s Fall Classic plays its home games outside the state of Missouri, my desire for Giant victories ended when that ball left Ishikawa’s bat.

So why am I rooting against them starting tonight? I like the Giants just fine. I like most of their players. Only Angel Pagan really gets my dander up, and he’ll miss this series with injury anyway. So this isn’t about the Giants.

As far as leagues go, I absolutely prefer the National League game to that of its younger brother. The Designated Hitter should be done away with (though I realize it never will be). The strategy and timing of the NL game makes for a beautiful, and sometimes sickening, dance where decisions feel like they loom larger. You can’t always just pitch a guy until he’s done. Maybe you have to lift a pitcher early because of a key offensive spot. Maybe you try to stretch a guy farther because his spot is due up next half inning. Et cetera. There is so much more that goes into it. It’s more interesting and more fun, in my ever so humble opinion.

I’m a stump for the NL way of life. My team plays in the National League, for what that’s worth.

So, again, I ask: Why am I rooting against the Giants?

Well, to be fair it’s about rooting for Kansas City more than it is about rooting against San Francisco.

Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Norichika Aoki. All former Brewers. All good guys who I enjoy watching succeed. But pulling for the Royals is deeper than just that connection. Doug Henry and Dale Sveum. Both former Brewers. Both members of KC’s coaching staff. I like that, and personally like Sveum as a coach, but certainly wouldn’t use that as a reason to cheer for one team over another. Ned? Not even a little bit.

So instead of continuing to tell you why I’m not rooting for them, even though they are fine reasons should you choose to use them, here’s why I am.

I look at the 2014 Kansas City Royals and I see the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers.

It’s not a perfect 1:1 on the field, of course, but the similarities even at that micro level are interesting. It’s more about how they go about their business on the field, the lights out bullpen, trading away young and controllable talent for a shot at the brass ring, the payoff of a long-term plan. You can take it one step farther and compare to 2008 in Milwaukee where the Brewers faltered down the stretch while trying to hold off other teams for the Wild Card. In 2008 there was only the one Wild Card spot available, but the Brewers held off the Mets to win it by just one game. In 2014, Kansas City got the home game by just one game over Oakland (who held off Seattle by just one game).

Kansas City rode years of awfulness to amass a bunch of young talent in their system. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon (drafted the same year as, and ahead of, Ryan Braun, by the way), Wil Myers, the list goes on. In fact, you could almost mark the 2005 draft which got the Brewers the final “homegrown” piece to their playoff runs in Braun as the start of the Royals turnaround. In that way, they’ve been a few years behind the Brewers’ blueprint. Get a bunch of young, talented guys in the system with a goal to hit the Majors at roughly the same time, supplement with free agents, and when the moment is right, make a big trade (or two) at the big league level by sending out minor leaguers to go for it.

Let’s break that down, in case you aren’t agreeing with me.

Milwaukee: Drafted Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy, Yovani Gallardo, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun. Traded away Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley (and more)) for CC Sabathia in 2008. Traded away Cain, Escobar, Jake Odorizzi (and more) for Zack Greinke in 2011. Traded Brett Lawrie for Shaun Marcum in 2011. Supplemented with veterans: 2011 -Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell, Jerry Hairston, Takashi Saito. 2008 – Gabe Kapler, Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Ray Durham, (ironically) Counsell.

Kansas City: Drafted Gordon, Hosmer, Moustakas, Billy Butler, Greg Holland. They scouted international amateurs like Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera, Yordano Ventura. Traded away Zack Greinke to acquire several young pieces. Flipped Odorizzi with Wil Myers to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis. Supplemented with veterans like Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Josh Willingham, and Jason Frasor.

I think I’ve made my point.

Their offensive games differ, to be sure, as the Brewers hit home runs at a great pace in 2011 and the Royals are more about speed and getting hits that raise the ol’ BABIP. But the rotations were similarly solid from top to bottom, but the real crux of what sent me down this comparison exercise are the late inning relievers.

2011 Brewers:

  • Closer: John Axford (1.95 ERA / 2.41 FIP / 46 saves / 1.140 WHIP / 10.5 K/9)
  • Setup man: Francisco Rodriguez (1.86 ERA / 2.23 FIP / 1.138 WHIP / 10.2 K/9)
  • “7th inning guy”: LaTroy Hawkins / Takashi Saito (Combined: 2.28 ERA / 1.200 WHIP / 6.1 K/9)
    • (the Brewers used two veterans so as to keep them fresh)

2014 Royals:

  • Closer: Greg Holland (1.44 ERA / 1.83 FIP / 46 saves / 0.914 WHIP / 13.0 K/9)
  • Setup man: Wade Davis (1.00 ERA / 1.19 FIP / 0.847 WHIP / 13.6 K/9)
  • “7th inning guy”: Kelvin Herrera (1.41 ERA / 2.69 FIP / 1.143 WHIP / 7.6 K/9)

Six inning games are easier to win than nine inning games. Both of these teams had/have that game-shortening bullpen that general managers are yearning to cobble together each and every off-season.

I won’t lie to you though. The former Brewers being on the Royals certainly helps me root for them. In fact, it led to a series of tweets (@BrewerNation) with commentary how the team with the most former Brewers on it was winning every series (and even every game for a while) in the 2014 Postseason.

Market size, payroll relative to MLB’s elite, a fan base desperate for a winner after more than 25 years of missing the playoffs, that their last pennant was won in the 1980’s — these are all comparisons between the two franchises that help me see them in such a similar light.

But when it comes down to it, when all the dust has settled, at the end of the day, when all the clichés have been dropped…

I’m rooting for the 2014 Kansas City Royals because I see the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers and what might have been.

The comparisons can stop there, though, because this Kansas City team won the two games which that Milwaukee team didn’t. The Royals won their pennant and now have a chance to win another World Series, while the Brewers still seek their first championship.

But if these Royals can get the job done, it offers renewed hope that my team can one day get back and accomplish the same.

And that’s worth rooting for more than anything.

2014 AL Wild Card Game Poll

Curious minds want to know…

Milwaukee Brewers Uniform Number History: #36

Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?

The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.

#36

Al Downing (’70)
Steve Hovley (’70)
Archie Reynolds (’72-’73)
Mark Bomback (’78)
Rick Waits (’84)
Carlos Ponce (’85)
Brad Komminsk (’87)
Ray Krawczyk (’89)
Tony Fossas (’89-’90)
Mike Capel (’90)
Mike Fetters (’92-’97)
Lorenzo Cain (’10)

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers: #22 Logan Schafer

We’re nearing the three week mark of our countdown to Opening Day. Today is a mere 22 days away from April 6th.

It’s a major sports day on the calendar this year also. The first day of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, NBA trade deadline, NFL free agency is in full swing (Mario Williams and Calvin Johnson got HOW much??). Yeah…there’s a lot going on.

But it is today which brings the focus of “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” to an outfield prospect that finally saw time at the big league level this past September:

Logan Schafer.

I interview Logan Edward Schafer for the blog last year, right around this time in fact. Here is a link to that interview. It gives some insights into him, including a self-scouting report and also talks about how he was drafted in three separate years before finally agreeing to a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

I suggest that you click the link above, read that and then come right back here to finish up this post. It’ll be here when you get back.

I want you to read that because I don’t want to spend time rehashing his injury history and whatnot.

In case you didn’t click, Schafer has been stricken with the injury bug a few times in his minor league career, including suffering a broken thumb last spring.

Once the thumb injury healed, Schafer went on to in play at three levels of the minor leagues, though his nine games at High-A Brevard County would be best described as a rehab assignment. Still, he hit .306 there over 36 at-bats.

In Double-A at Huntsville he posted a .302/.368/.392 line in 189 at-bats over 50 games. At Triple-A for the Nashville Sounds, Schafer put up a .331/.401/.521 line in 169 at-bats spanning 40 games. It was at the Triple-A level where Schafer found his power as well, totaling 20 extra-base hits including hitting five home runs.

As his bat continues to blossom, it’s his defense which (as he told you himself in that interview) has always been his best tool.

In 96 games defensively (all as a center fielder) in 2011, Schafer logged 812.0 innings, and had 241 total chances. He recorded 227 putouts and had 11 assists, including three double plays. Schafer was also involved in a triple play which got him some airtime on the four-letter network’s highlight show. His Range Factor was also the best of his career and clocked in at 2.48.

Schafer uses his 6’1”, 180 pound frame to glide through the outfield with tremendous ease. He is currently 25 years old which means that his peak is definitely right in front of him.

Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin realizes this as well, saying that despite the fact that the Brewers currently have great depth at the centerfield position, he is not going to be trading Schafer. That’s music to the ears of many Brewers fans. It’s also nice to hear that despite having to trade away Lorenzo Cain in the Zack Greinke deal, the team still has a young option that might be able to play every day in the near future.

What’s more, Schafer is hungry to succeed. He played in the Arizona Fall League for the Brewers and hit over .300 again with an OPS of .812 in the desert. He works hard and will continue doing so in order to realize his dream.

As for the beginning of 2012, unless Corey Hart’s surgically-repaired meniscus forces him to begin the season on the disabled list, chances are good the Schafer will head to Nashville to once again fill the starting centerfielder role in order to play every day and stay ready. If Hart doesn’t miss any regular season time, there simply isn’t any room in Milwaukee’s outfield as currently constructed.

Ryan Braun, and the platoon of Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez will start in the outfield alongside Hart, with Norichika Aoki likely being the primary backup at all spots (assuming the Japanese import’s bat gets going by the end of Spring Training).

Schafer, on the other hand, is having a tremendous Spring Training, for what it’s worth. In 18 at-bats prior to today, Schafer has 10 hits including three doubles and two triples. He has scored three runs and driven in three more. He’s also swiped one base while being caught once.

Yes, the future is bright for the native Californian product from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It just seems that he’s currently in a bit of the situation Mat Gamel has been dealing with for years: no spot to play yet on the 25-man roster.

But as in Gamel’s case, for Schafer it only seems to be a matter of when an opening presents itself as opposed to if it will.

One thing which you can be sure of is that when opportunity comes knocking, Logan Schafer will be ready to walk through the door.