Tag:Yadier Molina
Posted on: July 3, 2010 1:19 am
Edited on: July 3, 2010 2:37 am
 

Hart deserving of votes in NL All-Star race

Corey Hart Now that the reaction to the latest voting of AL All-Stars is complete, we turn to the NL ...

It's hard to disagree with Albert Pujols at the top of the first base rankings. He's second in the NL in OPS, but not all that far behind Votto and has both the name recognition and defense working for him. But that Votto ranks fifth in voting indicates that not many may be fully appreciating Votto's season. After all, Troy Glaus and his .260/.364/.458 line ranks third.

Votto is at .314/.416/.579 with 19 home runs -- tied with Pujols among NL first basemen -- and has Glaus beat in almost every counting category: triples, runs, RBI, stolen bases, strike outs. The two are tied in doubles with 13 apiece, and Votto is the second-best fielder at first according to UZR/150. Glaus? Dead last. We can't even point to a big market or popular player here, really, as Glaus is in his first season with the Braves after not playing much of 2009 and Votto's more exciting given he's 26 and Glaus is on the wrong side of 30. Interesting.

At second, Chase Utley led the voting which was no surprise, but since he's out for eight weeks with surgery on his thumb, he won't be starting. The logical replacement is in fact, second in the 2B rankings with Martin Prado garnering just over 1.5 million votes. Impressive for a relative unknown, but Prado absolutely deserves the nod -- he's leading the NL in batting average at .333.

Third base has another Phillie, Placido Polando, just barely edging out David Wright. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, Polanco is shelved until late July so Wright will toe the third-base line in the first inning. The voting is close, here though: Polanco leads everyone with just under 1.5 million votes while fifth place belongs to Casey McGehee at one million. It's anyone's game between Polanco, Wright, McGehee and Chipper Jones along with Scott Rolen.

Really, it's down to Wright and Rolen as the deserving candidates. Wright playing for New York will carry him to the finish line, but he's in a virtual dead heat with Rolen. Rolen has flashed more power than Wright on the year but only barely, and Wright holds the same slim edge in UZR/150 fielding.

At shortstop, Jimmy Rollins is less than 500,000 behind leader Hanley Ramirez despite barely playing at all through the voting period. Troy Tulowitzki was a strong choice to start and currently ranks in third place with his long-term injury hampering his progress. If he hadn't gotten hurt, it would have been an interesting race between HanRam and Tulo.

At catcher, Yadier Molina has done absolutely nothing with the bat but is truly gifted with the leather. He has 1.6 million votes, edging out Brian McCann -- who leads all qualified catchers in OPS -- with ageless Ivan Rodriguez nipping at McCann's heels with 1.3 million votes. Carlos Ruiz is also over the million barrier, but is injured. Rod Barajas rounds out the voting.

Really, at catcher, it comes down to what you think is the most important. Offense or defense. It's a debate that has skewed to defense in team structure lately, but that was coming off an offensive-infested era.

In the outfield, Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward and Andre Ethier each have over two million votes apiece, and all are deserving candidates. Also extremely deserving are Jayson Werth (4th in voting), Corey Hart (unranked), Josh Willingham (unranked) and Colby Rasmus (14th). Heyward will miss the game with an injury -- even if he comes off the disabled list in time, as he says -- so Werth will probably slide into Heyward's spot.

Rasmus leads all outfielders in OPS, but was neither a minor-league phenom or someone who made waves in his rookie year last year, so it makes sense that his name isn't quite well-known yet. But it will be.

It's true that many feel Corey Hart (pictured) is a flash in the pan, but is that really a reason not to vote for him? His production is in the bank and irrevocable, and he was one of the league's best hitters. To have him unranked is a disservice, and here's hoping he at least shows up in the final vote.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: June 29, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 4:41 pm
 

Pujols leads voting, but should he?

Albert Pujols In what should be the most difficult decision among National League All-Star voters, the pick has more or less already been made.

Although online voting ends on Thursday, Albert Pujols' lead in first base voting makes it more or less impossible for him to be passed in the voting. Pujols leads Ryan Howard at first base by nearly 2 million votes in the latest numbers released by Major League Baseball . The teams will be announced on Sunday.

Chase Utley seemingly has second base wrapped up and the outfield of Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward and Andre Ethier also seems pretty much safe, as does shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

Third base is a little more interesting, as Placido Polanco leads David Wright by fewer than 23,000 votes in the tightest race and another example of Phillie ballot-box stuffing.

Yadier Molina leads Brian McCann in catcher voting by fewer than 200,000 votes.

As for Pujols, he's the easy choice at first base -- a choice most have made. He's probably the best player in the game, but he's not having the best year in the game -- or even among first basemen.

OK, this is splitting hairs, and it's by no means a mockery if he's the All-Star starter, but you can make a compelling case for two first basemen over Pujols: Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. The three have pretty similar numbers, so any of the three is a solid choice, but the point is the gap shouldn't be so wide. It should be a tough decision. According to the voters, it's just not.

Here's a look at the first basemen in six categories: BA/OBP/SLG, HR, RBI and WAR (wins above replacement, an advance stat that takes defensive into consideration.

The King
Albert Pujols .305/.420/.542 16 52 2.6

The contenders
Adrian Gonzalez .306/.399/.544 16 50 3.3
Joey Votto .312/.415/.559 16 51 3.3

The usual suspects
Ryan Howard .296/.352/.517 15 50 1.4
Prince Fielder .256/.385/.463 15 44 1.8

Not that far behind
Troy Glaus .268/.373/.472 14 56 1.2
Adam Dunn .276/.366/.559 17 43 2.1
Aubrey Huff .296/.385/.512 12 42 2.3
James Loney .294/.346/.429 5 40 1.0
Ike Davis .264/.340/.442 9 37 0.9
Gaby Sanchez .302/.373/.474 8 39 1.9
Adam LaRoche .254/.342/.469 12 41 0.8
Garrett Jones .281/.352/.446 10 33 1.3

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:07 pm
 

NL voting update

Major League Baseball just released the latest batch of National League All-Star voting results, and the leaders at each position remained unchanged.

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols surpassed Phillies second baseman Chase Utley for the overall vote lead, now ahead of him by about 100,000 votes. The closest race is at catcher, where the Cardinals' Yadier Molina is about 88,000 votes ahead of the Braves' Brian McCann.

Braves rookie outfielder Jason Heyward is in position to be the second of three starters, but is less than 3,000 votes from the top spot, held by the Brewers' Ryan Braun.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
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