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.
- 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)
- 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.
They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Friday, February 21st. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.
As always, I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. There were six Brewers on the list entering 2012. 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. Last year, the Brewers only had three players featured on the list (at the time it was revealed). Yovani Gallardo repeated his position at 72, Aramis Ramirez jumped all the way up to 32, and Braun settled in at 6. Kyle Lohse made last year’s list as well.
My early prediction? The Brewers could have six (6) this year (Braun, Ramirez, Kyle Lohse, Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, Jonathan Lucroy) but I think Garza falls short for sure. (UPDATE: Looks like the Brewers will only have three again. Ramirez and Lohse both fall off the list and Lucroy gets no love either.)
The criteria for the list remains the same:
- Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2012
- Projected 2014 performance
- Defensive position
Here now are the Top 100-1* Players as listed by MLB Network:
100. Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees
99. Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati Reds
98. Torii Hunter – RF – Detroit Tigers
97. Andrelton Simmons – SS – Atlanta Braves
96. Shane Victorino – RF – Boston Red Sox
95. Ian Kinsler – 2B – Detroit Tigers
94. Gerrit Cole – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates
93. Shelby Miller – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
92. Michael Wacha – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
91. Trevor Rosenthal – CL – St. Louis Cardinals
90. Patrick Corbin – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks
89. Clay Buccholz – SP – Boston Red Sox
88. Matt Cain – SP – San Francisco Giants
87. Josh Donaldson – 3B – Oakland Athletics
86. Joe Nathan – CL – Detroit Tigers
85. Matt Wieters – C – Baltimore Orioles
84. Billy Butler – DH – Kansas City Royals
83. Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox
82. Koji Uehara – CL – Boston Red Sox
81. Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies
80. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
79. Pedro Alvarez – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates
78. Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals
77. Carlos Santana – C/3B – Cleveland Indians
76. Josh Hamilton – RF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
75. Eric Hosmer – 1B – Kansas City Royals
74. Hunter Pence – RF – San Francisco Giants
73. Michael Cuddyer – RF – Colorado Rockies
72. Justin Upton – LF – Atlanta Braves
71. Anibal Sanchez – SP – Detroit Tigers
70. Jason Kipnis – 2B – Cleveland Indians
69. Gio Gonzalez – SP – Washington Nationals
68. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants
67. Greg Holland – CL – Kansas City Royals
66. James Shields – SP – Kansas City Royals
65. Matt Carpenter – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals
64. Brian McCann – C – New York Yankees
63. J.J. Hardy – SS – Baltimore Orioles
62. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals
61. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays
60. JEAN SEGURA – SS – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
59. Matt Kemp – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers
58. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals
57. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
56. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals
55. Hisashi Iwakuma – SP – Seattle Mariners
54. Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
53. Allen Craig – RF – St. Louis Cardinals
52. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers
51. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – New York Yankees
50. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays
49. Jayson Werth – RF – Washington Nationals
48. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – Washington Nationals
47. Carlos Beltran – RF – New York Yankees
46. Prince Fielder – 1B – Texas Rangers
45. Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta Braves
44. CARLOS GOMEZ – CF – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
43. Wil Myers – RF – Tampa Bay Rays
42. Shin-Soo Choo – LF – Texas Rangers
41. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals
40. Victor Martinez – C/DH – Detroit Tigers
39. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays
38. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
37. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals
36. Jay Bruce – RF – Cincinnati Reds
35. Aroldis Chapman – CL – Cincinnati Reds
34. Joe Mauer – 1B – Minnesota Twins
33. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers
32. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
31. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers
30. Chris Davis – 1B – Baltimore Orioles
29. Manny Machado – 3B – Baltimore Orioles
28. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox
27. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox
26. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves
25. David Wright – 3B – New York Mets
24. RYAN BRAUN – RF – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
23. Yasiel Puig – RF – Los Angeles Dodgers
22. Bryce Harper – LF – Washington Nationals
21. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles
20. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins
19. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox
18. Jose Fernandez – SP – Miami Marlins
17. Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants
16. Hanley Ramirez – SS – Los Angeles Dodgers
15. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays
14. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals
13. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies
12. Max Scherzer – SP – Detroit Tigers
11. Carlos Gonzalez – CF – Colorado Rockies
10. David Price – SP – Tampa Bay Rays
9. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds
7. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners
6. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers
5. Robinson Cano – 2B – Seattle Mariners
4. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates
3. Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers
2. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
1. Mike Trout – CF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
So that’s the list! Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think. Did your favorite player make the list? Was he too high? Too low?
Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.
This 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 Friday, January 10, 2014 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. (See them below.) On Friday, January 17th both Starting Pitchers and Right Fielders were unveiled. Friday, January 24th brought us Left Fielders and First Basemen. Relief Pitchers and Second Basemen were revealed on Friday, January 31st.
Catchers and Third Basemen will be revealed on Friday, February 7th, so look for a couple more Brewers to make it.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
- Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Carlos Gomez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Austin Jackson – Detroit Tigers
- Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
- Dexter Fowler – Houston Astros
- Coco Crisp – Oakland Athletics
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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Jones, Kemp, Desmond Jennings (TB), Leonys Martin (TEX)
James: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Michael Bourn (CLE), Jennings, Denard Span (WAS)
Hamilton: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Kemp, Jackson, Crisp, Gonzalez, Bourn
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
- Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royal
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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops was Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Reyes, Desmond, Andrus, Peralta, Derek Jeter (NYY), Simmons, Segura, Everth Cabrera (SD)
James: Tulowitzki, Hardy, Reyes, Jed Lowrie (OAK), Simmons, Andrus, Segura, Ramirez, Erick Aybar (LAA), Escobar
Ripken: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Hardy, Simmons, Desmond, Segura, Stephen Drew (FA), Lowrie, Andrus, Reyes
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”
- Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies
- Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
- Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
- Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
- David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
- Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
- Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
- Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
- Max Scherzer – 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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers was John Smoltz. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kershaw, Verlander, Lee, Hernandez, Wainwright, Yu Darvish (TEX), Scherzer, Fernandez, Madison Bumgarner (SF), Sale
James: Kershaw, Scherzer, Lee, Wainwright, Verlander, Zack Greinke (LAD), Sale, Jered Weaver (LAA), Hernandez, Darvish
Smoltz: Kershaw, Fernandez, Hernandez, Scherzer, Darvish, Verlander, Jon Lester (BOS), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), Wainwright, Price
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”
- Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
- Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals
- Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees
- Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
- Shane Victorino – Boston Red Sox
- Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
- Jason Heyward – 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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders was Mark DeRosa. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Braun, Stanton, Puig, Heyward, Werth, Bautista, Craig, Jay Bruce (CIN), Wil Myers (TB), Pence
James: Braun, Bruce, Stanton, Heyward, Pence, Bautista, Victorino, Beltran, Puig, Torii Hunter (DET)
DeRosa: Beltran, Stanton, Bautista, Werth, Craig, Pence, Bruce, Hunter, Puig, Michael Cuddyer (COL)
You read that correctly. Mark DeRosa doesn’t Ryan Braun in his Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now despite Brian Kenny and Bill James both ranking Braun #1 and the Shredder ranking him second. DeRosa says Braun “should be 1” but since he has to earn back the respect of fans, his teammates, etc. DeRosa “hopes” he comes back and performs and is #1 next year, but he couldn’t discount other guys.
As for the Shredder, Brian Kenny said he was shocked not only that Braun wasn’t first but that Puig was. I’m guessing Braun was dinged by the Shredder for how many games he missed last year. That’ll happen in an algorithm.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
- Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
- Justin Upton – Atlanta Braves
- Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
- Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Daniel Nava – Boston Red Sox
- Carlos Quentin – San Diego Padres
- Josh Hamilton – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- 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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders was Eric Byrnes. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Harper, Choo, Holliday, Marte, Upton, Gordon, Gardner, Yoenis Cespedes (OAK), Domonic Brown (PHI), Khris Davis (MIL)
James: Choo, Holliday, Gordon, Gardner, Nava, Harper, Upton, Brown, Cespedes, Hamilton
Byrnes: Holliday, Harper, Upton, Choo, Alfonso Soriano (NYY), Gordon, Marte, Hamilton, Nava, Brown
MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
- Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
- Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
- Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
- Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
- Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
- Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen was Sean Casey. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Mauer, Fielder, Davis, Encarnacion, Brandon Belt (SF), Ad. Gonzalez
James: Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Votto, Davis, Mauer, Freeman, Encarnacion, Ad. Gonzalez, Napoli, Eric Hosmer (KC)
Casey: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Davis, Fielder, Ad. Gonzalez, Mauer, Albert Pujols (LAA), Encarnacion
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”
- Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
- Joe Nathan – Detroit Tigers
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
- David Robertson – New York Yankees
- Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
- Luis Avilan – Atlanta Braves
- Joaquin Benoit – San Diego Padres
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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers was Dan Plesac. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kimbrel, Holland, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Trevor Rosenthal (STL), Perkins, Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon (PHI), Benoit
James: Kimbrel, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Holland, Nathan, Papelbon, Perkins, Rosenthal, Mark Melancon (PIT)
Plesac: Kimbrel, Holland, Chapman, Uehara, Jansen, Nathan, Jim Johnson (OAK), Perkins, Jason Grilli (PIT), Rex Brothers (COL)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”
- Robinson Cano -Seattle Mariners
- Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
- Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
- Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Marco Scutaro – 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 will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen was Harold Reynolds. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cano, Pedroia, Kipnis, Utley, Hill, Zobrist, Kendrick, Kinsler, Walker, Omar Infante (KC)
James: Cano, Pedroia, Zobrist, Kipnis, Utley, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Kinsler, Infante, Jose Altuve (HOU), Kendrick
Reynolds: Cano, Pedroia, Phillips, Kipnis, Kendrick, Utley, Kinsler, Scutaro, Infante, Walker
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
- Manny Machado – 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 will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen was Mike Lowell. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Wright, Longoria, Beltre, Carpenter, Donaldson, Machado, Zimmerman, Headley, Kyle Seager (SEA), Martin Prado (ARI)
James: Longoria, Beltre, Wright, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Headley, Machado, Prado, Donaldson, Seager
Lowell: Beltre, Longoria, Wright, Machado, Donaldson, Ramirez, Headley, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Pedro Alvarez (PIT)
Neither Brian Kenny or Bill James included Aramis Ramirez in their personal Top 10.
Best line of the show? Kenny asked James why he put Longoria over Beltre and Wright. James’ response: “Probably fear.” He then admitted that he might be biased by working for the Red Sox.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”
- Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
- Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
- Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Jason Castro – Houston Astros
- Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
- Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies
- Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
- 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 apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers was Dave Valle. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Posey, Molina, Santana, Brian McCann (NYY), Perez, Lucroy, Castro, Ruiz, Russell Martin (PIT), Montero
James: Posey, Molina, Perez, A.J. Pierzynski (BOS), Matt Wieters (BAL), Santana, Rosario, McCann, Lucroy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA)
Valle: Molina, Perez, Posey, Wieters, Ramos, Martin, McCann, A.J. Ellis (LAD), Lucroy, Castro
So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.
There are five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder. They are: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th)