As I did last year, I’ll be keeping a running list of the Top 100 Players Right Now as they are revealed on MLB Network, eventually compiling the entire list.
They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Tuesday, February 26th. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.
As before I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. Last year there were six Brewers on the list. Rickie Weeks was 83, John Axford was 77, Yovani Gallardo was 72, Aramis Ramirez was 66, Zack Greinke was 64, and Ryan Braun was too low at number 9.
Based on what has been revealed, it would appear a safe bet that Rickie Weeks has fallen off of the list. And how about John Axford? Could he really be in the Top 40 or did he fall off too? I’m guessing he fell off despite his fantastic 2011 season.
Looks like the Brewers will only have three this year.
The criteria for the list remains the same:
- Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2012
- Projected 2013 performance
- Defensive position
Here now are the Top 100 Players as listed by MLB Network.
100. Ryan Howard – 1B – Philadelphia Phillies
99. Sergio Romo – CL – San Francisco Giants
98. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers
97. Elvis Andrus – SS – Texas Rangers
96. Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies
95. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers
94. Jacoby Ellsbury – OF – Boston Red Sox
93. Victor Martinez – C/DH – Detroit Tigers
92. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals
91. Michael Bourn – CF – Cleveland Indians
90. Aroldis Chapman – P – Cincinnati Reds
89. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
88. Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox
87. Mike Moustakas – 3B – Kansas City Royals
86. Brett Lawrie – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays
85. Michael Morse – 1B/LF – Seattle Mariners
84. Allen Craig – 1B – St. Louis Cardinals
83. Torii Hunter – RF – Detroit Tigers
82. Carlos Beltran – RF – St. Louis Cardinals
81. Carlos Ruiz – C – Philadelphia Phillies
80. Brian McCann – C – Atlanta Braves
79. Miguel Montero – C- Arizona Diamondbacks
78. Curtis Granderson – CF – New York Yankees
77. Jim Johnson – CL – Baltimore Orioles
76. Jason Motte – CL – St. Louis Cardinals
75. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals
74. Chase Headley – 3B – San Diego Padres
73. Adam LaRoche – 1B – Washington Nationals
72. Yovani Gallardo – SP – Milwaukee Brewers
71. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants
70. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals
69. B.J. Upton – CF – Atlanta Braves
68. James Shields – SP – Kansas City Royals
67. David Freese – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals
66. J.J. Hardy – SS – Baltimore Orioles
65. Kyle Lohse – SP – (FREE AGENT)
64. Wade Miley – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks
63. Johnny Cueto – SP – Cincinnati Reds
62. Jonathan Papelbon – CL – Philadelphia Phillies
61. Mariano Rivera – CL – New York Yankees
60. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox
59. Jason Heyward – RF – Atlanta Braves
58. Austin Jackson – CF – Detroit Tigers
57. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
56. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox
55. Billy Butler – DH – Kansas City Royals
54. Bryce Harper – LF – Washington Nationals
53. Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees
52. Starlin Castro – SS – Chicago Cubs
51. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies
50. R.A. Dickey – SP – Toronto Blue Jays
49. Gio Gonzalez – SP – Washington Nationals
48. Matt Wieters – C – Baltimore Orioles
47. A.J. Pierzynski – C- Texas Rangers
46. Roy Halladay – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
45. Matt Cain – SP – San Francisco Giants
44. Pablo Sandoval – 3B – San Francisco Giants
43. Josh Willingham – LF – Minnesota Twins
42. Yoenis Cespedes – LF – Oakland Athletics
41. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals
40. Ian Kinsler – 2B – Texas Rangers
39. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays
38. Joe Mauer – C – Minnesota Twins
37. Jered Weaver – SP – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
36. Jay Bruce – RF – Cincinnati Reds
35. Justin Upton – LF – Atlanta Braves
34. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox
33. Paul Konerko – 1B – Chicago White Sox
32. Aramis Ramirez – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers
31. Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati Reds
30. Carlos Gonzalez – LF – Colorado Rockies
29. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – Washington Nationals
28. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays
27. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves
26. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals
25. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays
24. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals
23. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles
22. David Wright – 3B – New York Mets
21. Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants
20. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
19. Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
18. CC Sabathia – SP – New York Yankees
17. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates
16. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays
15. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins
14. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
13. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers
12. David Price – SP – Tampa Bay Rays
11. Prince Fielder – 1B – Detroit Tigers
10. Josh Hamilton – RF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
9. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds
8. Robinson Cano – 2B – New York Yankees
7. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners
6. Ryan Braun – LF – Milwaukee Brewers
5. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Matt Kemp – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Miguel Cabrera – 3B – Detroit Tigers
2. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers
1. Mike Trout – LF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Totals by team:
- Philadelphia Phillies – 7
- St. Louis Cardinals – 7
- Washington Nationals – 7
- Detroit Tigers – 6
- Atlanta Braves – 5
- Cincinnati Reds – 5
- New York Yankees – 5
- San Francisco Giants – 5
- Texas Rangers – 5
- Toronto Blue Jays – 5
- Baltimore Orioles – 4
- Boston Red Sox – 4
- Kansas City Royals – 4
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 4
- Los Angeles Dodgers – 4
- Milwaukee Brewers – 3
- Arizona Diamondbacks – 2
- Chicago White Sox – 2
- Colorado Rockies – 2
- Minnesota Twins – 2
- Seattle Mariners – 2
- Tampa Bay Rays – 2
- Cleveland Indians – 1
- New York Mets – 1
- Chicago Cubs – 1
- Oakland Athletics – 1
- Miami Marlins – 1
- Pittsburgh Pirates – 1
- San Diego Padres – 1
- Kyle Lohse – 1
By: Big Rygg
Unlike some people and places, I don’t like to analyze many things at the spur of the moment when a little thought is warranted.
Don’t get me wrong, breaking news is fun to slice and dice and there are definitely times when that is appropriate if not downright fun. And breaking a story with analysis or not is always fun. I broke Salomon Torres’ retirement last year. Yup, I had it first. But that’s beside the point.
The point that I’m getting at is that now, after a few hours, it is time to analyze exactly what the newest member of the Milwaukee Brewers brings to (and takes away from) the ball club.
Felipe Lopez – 2B/SS/3B – DOB: 5/12/1980 (29 years old) – B/T: S/R
.301/.364/.412, 345 AB, 104 H, 44 R, 18 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 34 BB, 59 K, 6/9 SB
Okay, so there are the season-to-date numbers. That includes an 0/4 in today’s game against St. Louis. Lopez has, even with that 0/4, amassed 8 hits in his last 20 ABs. That’s .400 over his last 6 games. What’s better, over the last 10 games, his batting average has gone from .305 to .301.
How is that better, you ask? It displays consistency. In those 10 games, he has been shut out of the hit column three times (though did still manage to score a run) but he manages to bounce back. It’s a quality that has been sorely missing at times from Brewer hitters this year for the most part.
Lopez is a switch-hitter and has hit LHP at a .313 clip while handling RHP as well to the tune of .298. Unfortunately for the Brewers, the most negative split Lopez has in his hitting is his split between night and day games. The Brewers have lost a lot of day games in a row, and Lopez only hits .237 in those games as opposed to .327 at night.
Okay, here’s a bottom line paragraph (there will be a couple of these in this post). Lopez doesn’t blow away any offensive category, but he contributes across the board. He plays solid defense, at multiple positions, and hits well from both sides of the plate. He can lead off effectively as evidenced by his .350/.411/.510 line in 143 ABs from the leadoff spot. What’s more, against the NL Central team not named the Brewers this year overall, Lopez is hitting 26/68 which equates to a .382 batting average. Sounds good to me.
Enough about Lopez’ individual batting numbers. Let’s move on to what his presence adds to the team.
Lopez will, by all accounts, start every day at 2B. This will either put Casey McGehee and Craig Counsell into a hard platoon at 3B or, more likely, will allow Craig Counsell to go back to what he was excelling so greatly at during the first two months of the season…coming off the bench and providing days off here and there for the starters at second, third and short.
McGehee has been handling RHP more than well enough (36/113, .319) while also hitting lefties just fine (14/43, .326) so there should be no issues offensively with starting McGehee as the main 3B. His defense has been suspect at times at the hot corner, but late-inning defensive replacement work is what Bill Hall is best-suited for at this point anyway, should you need to take advantage of it.
If there is a tough righty on the hill, maybe Counsell gets the start at SS or 3B. It stands to reason that Lopez will be starting every day unless he needs a day off. No real reason to platoon an effective switch-hitter.
So what does Lopez cost this team?
The most glaring, direct consequence of the addition of Felipe Lopez is the demotion of Mat Gamel back to AAA Nashville. Gamel hasn’t been playing a whole lot, to be fair, and when he has he’s only been midly effective.
I am still very much in the camp that believe Mat Gamel will hit, and hit a lot, when it’s all said and done. Really, though, with an everyday 2B in Lopez, forcing McGehee, Counsell and Hall to find time at 3B (and Counsell some at SS as well), it just made too much sense to have Gamel playing every day down in AAA. He needs to continue to develop, and playing maybe twice a week isn’t going to accomplish that.
Lopez also cost the Brewers that which they sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in order to complete the trade. Milwaukee sent two minor league players to the desert in OF Cole Gillespie and P Roque Mercedes. Personally, while I had tempered hopes for Gillespie, and didn’t know a lot about Mercedes, I think it’s a fair bounty. The last place D’Backs gets some potential down-the-road help and the Brewers get what has been missing since Rickie Weeks was lost for the season with his wrist injury.
(And I’ll be honest, I think I like that we didn’t pick up Doug Davis from Arizona as well. We need a bigger pitching piece in order to help solidify our rotation and by not getting Davis we are that much more in the market on those bigger names. I’m not saying that we’ll end up with Roy Halladay, but it’s nice to know that we still could, right?)
And finally, looking down the road, Lopez is only on a one-year contract. He is also only 29 years old. This leads to the best thing in a General Manager’s arsenal come the offseason: Options. (And I mean that as in choices.)
If Weeks rehabs well in the offseason and Lopez wants to sign elsewhere, so be it. If Weeks struggles to come back and we want coverage at 2B and Lopez enjoys the remainder of 2009 in Milwaukee, then perhaps he resigns here. There’s also the possibility that maybe Craig Counsell decides to retire. Lopez can play all of the positions that Counsell can as well, though ultimately that’s probably the least likely scenario as Lopez will no doubt be in line for a starting job next year should he want one.
Lopez is set to join the Brewers later today in Pittsburgh and will no doubt be starting and leading off against Ross Ohlendorf in the top of the 1st inning. Can’t say that I don’t like the way that sounds.
Let’s see what he can do right away. What do you say?
…so let’s get going.
By: Big Rygg
Hey Brewer Nation! Thanks for dealing with our collective hiatus from the written word over the past couple of weeks. It’s been a crazy length of time for both South Side Rob and me. Suffice it to say that my hiatus is over and I’ll be posting more often going forward.
Anyway, like I said in the lead…let’s get going.
When I last posted, the Milwaukee Brewers were 37-29 (put away your calculators, that’s 8 games over .500) and held a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals (then 36-30) as the Crew sat atop the National League Central.
While the Brewers have lost more than they’ve won over the past 18 games, they now sit 4 games over .500 at 44-40, and are one game behind the St. Louis Cardnials (who remain six games over .500 at 46-40) as the Redbirds sit atop the NL Central.
Casey McGehee has emerged as a potential NL Rookie of the Year candidate, Manny Parra threw his way to the minors and has hopefully pitched his way back to staying in the rotation for the remainder of the year. (Let’s be honest with ourselves…As much as I like Seth McClung and Mike Burns as people, they aren’t ever going to make up 40% of a playoff rotation.) Jody Gerut still can’t get a hit to save his soul. Prince Fielder is still tearing the cover off the ball.
But let’s hit on a few big items specifically, shall we?
And let’s get the negative out of the way.
Ryan Braun vs. Doug Melvin
I’m happy to say that this happened, exploded, was reacted to and overreacted to, and has nearly gone away from the mainstream media before I had the chance to comment here on the blog.
What I am on record as saying is that Braun was out of line in the words he chose to express his feelings. We all agree that the pitching hasn’t been up to par, which was especially evident in the Cubs series, but the words Braun said called out half of his team whether he intended it that way or not.
Doug Melvin responded in the media, something he has never done before against a player to my knowledge (at least since taking over here in Milwaukee). Braun has been saying lots of things over the last couple of years, but again in the words he chose to use, he crossed the line a bit too far this time and Melvin let him know it. Should Melvin have taken it to the media? Probably not, but the way in which Braun took it there made a non-response a non-option for Melvin if he wanted the club to save face at all.
The two met, Braun apologized for the misunderstanding, we move on. Above, though, are some of my thoughts on it.
Speaking of St. Louis, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder…
Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder…St. Louis-bound!
The bad about this is that Trevor Hoffman isn’t joining them (though hopefully someone will have to back out and maybe he’ll be able to go). The positives are that both men are now two-time All Stars. Prince was the NL Starter back in 2007 at 1B and is a reserve this year. Braun became the first Milwaukee Brewer to be named as an All Star starter two consecutive years since some guy named Robin Yount back in ’82 & ’83. Sounds like impressive company to me.
Fielder will also be joining the three other National League first-basemen in the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 13th. For those of you that don’t know who they are, the four men are Fielder, Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez. That should be one heckuva display as all four men have 20+ home runs so far in the regular season and Howard (the low man on that totem pole) is a past winner of the Derby.
Milwaukee’s own Happy Youngster will be in attendance at the Derby as well. Look for the yellow shirt in the first row behind the St. Louis bullpen (from what he told me at the ballpark last night, anyway).
I use this heading to talk about the following things:
1 – The Death of Dave Bush’s Beard. I will summarize this situation with one question: Was Dave Bush on the DL when his Beard was protecting him?
2 – The Rebirth of Manny Parra. Parra was sent to the minors sporting a 3-8 record and an ERA of 7.52. After putting together “quality” starts in four straight outings and five of six starts, Parra went on a run of futility that landed him in the minors. His ERA jumped nealry 2 runs in three starts. That’s a lot when you get to June. Parra allowed a lot of runs, though, in accomplishing that feat. In those three starts combined, Parra amassed a stat line reading; 0-2, 11.1 IP, 21 ER, 25 H, 7 BB, 9 K. That’s an ERA, over that span, of 16.68!!
Now, having said all that, Parra comes back to the Brewers to start his first game since June 13th at Miller Park when he lost to the Chicago White Sox. I think he’ll be fine so long as he stays relaxed. Even though he might be pitching for his position in the rotation in the 2nd “half” of the season, he can’t pitch that way.
3 – The Life of Roy Halladay Rumors. Lo and behold, Roy Halladay is on the block after all! Despite so many people saying that Halladay would never be moved this year, I told everyone that he was on the block. Sure, the Brewers might not end up with him, but it wasn’t that hard to see coming despite the good doctor having over a year left on his contract if you were paying close enough attention. Halladay does also possess a full no-trade clause basically allowing him to hand-pick his next team or to choose to stay with Toronto. However, once your name gets dangled out there as possible trade bait, and you’re a superstar (in talent if not in recognition outside of the AL East yet), you will be moved.
The Brewers have prospects that they could package together to get Halladay, of this there can be little doubt. It’s really just a matter of whether or not Doug Melvin is willing to part with them, further depleting a farm system that lost two top prospects to Cleveland in the deal that brought CC Sabathia (and a playoff berth) to the city of Milwaukee. Another potential option that would help save a piece from the farm system would be to package a current major leaguer in with prospects. Regardless of what the winning team ends up spending, they will gain easily the best pitcher available this season. No Jake Peavy or Cliff Lee or Javier Vazquez or Jarrod Washburn or Erik Bedard or anyone else would make the impact that Roy Halladay can and most assuredly will make on a contending team.
So, the question here becomes…
What Would You Be Willing to Trade for Roy Halladay?
Here is how I worded it a couple of days ago.
Halladay is under contract for the next season. If only we had a larger sample size on Casey McGehee. I’d like Gamel’s LH bat in the lineup going forward but with Rickie back next season, McGehee’s ABs will come at 3B. I would be willing to move Gamel. Point two: I’d personally rather move Hardy and hang on to Escobar as his immediate replacement. That said, the Jays would certainly rather have Escobar what with his better range, more speed and cheaper cost. I would be willing to move Escobar, but only if we’re able to sign Hardy to an extension. And pretty much any pitching prospect (with a couple of personal favorites excluded) would be fair game. Oh and feel encouraged to throw in a bat from last year like Canada’s own Lawrie if that gets the deal done.
I’ll go right ahead and close this down for tonight. There’s more I could talk about, but a hugely long post is usually a skipped over post.
So, good win tonight over the Cardinals. Glad Hoffman slammed the door shut. Let’s win a series tomorrow and then handle the Dodgers on our way to a nice three-day break for 23 of our 25-man roster.