Posts tagged ‘Adrian Gonzalez’

Gonzalez is Big Winner of Trade

Adrian Gonzalez

It has been reported that the San Diego Padres are sending 1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for three top prospects and a player-to-be-named-later: SP Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, and CF Reymond Fuentes. This trade, for the teams involved, is a complete win-win. But, the biggest winner of all is Adrian Gonzalez.

Although you may not realize it, Adrian Gonzalez is one of the top players in the entire league.  He is a power-hitting, Gold Glove fielding first baseman that also hits for average and takes a good amount of walks.  He is now moving to a great hitter’s park after being in the hitter’s wasteland known as Petco park.  People know that Petco limits a player’s offensive production, but they may realize how much it has limited Gonzalez’s.

Gonzalez’s career numbers in 3424 plate appearances with the Padres are .288/.374/.514 with an OPS+ of 141 and 161 homeruns.  Those numbers are being pulled in two opposite directions, though.  His numbers at home with the Padres in 1650 plate appearances are  .267/.359/.442 with 57 homeruns.  His numbers in the road with the Padres in 1774 plate appearances are .307/.378/.579 with 104 homeruns.

His home numbers, if in a neutral park, are James Loney-esque.  His road numbers, though, are Hank Greenberg-esque.  I see no reason why Gonzalez should not be able to appraoch those road numbers every year now, with a real possibility of eclipsing them. (Check out this spray chart created by RiverAvenueBlues that shows Gonzalez’s Petco batted balls in Fenway.)

Gonzalez also wins in this deal because he is now part of one of the richest franchises in all of sports and an extension, with Mark Texiera’s $180M deal as the negotiating point, is likely to be signed.

The biggest losers in this deal are the Tampa Bay Rays and the NL West fans. 

The Rays have no way of adding a player of Gonzalez’s caliber to their roster unless they sell the farm or commit over 25% of their payroll to one player, and they are not going to do that.  On paper, they were already behind the Yankees, who are going to land at least one of Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford to their already impressive roster, and they now sit behind the Red Sox.

The NL West, after bringing a World Series championship to it’s coast, just lost one of it’s main attratctions and are now left with Aubrey Huff being the top first baseman in the division.  Not good for a division that is also in the news for trying to deal Justin Upton, possibly the best young player in the Majors.

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December 4, 2010 at 11:48 am 1 comment

There is No Justice When it Comes to Gold Glove Awards

Franklin Gutierrez

The 2009 Gold Glove Award winners have been announced. *Sigh*. I’ve made it known that I believe the Gold Glove Awards are a joke and I know I am not alone. I want to believe that the award will one day actually go to the best fielders. I hold hope. Well, 2009 was not a year the award took a step forward. In fact, it took a step back, which is very hard to do.

Here are all the 2009 winners with my notes on each:

C – Yadier Molina (STL) – This was one of those without-a-doubt winners. There was no other catcher even close to him. He is the best at throwing out runners, blocking balls in the dirt, and one of the best at calling a game. He is also the best at blocking the plate and catching the ball with a runner charging at him like a raging bull. This is one of the few the voters got right, mainly because it was almost impossible to get wrong.

C – Joe Mauer (MIN) – This is not an awful selection but Gerald Laird deserved to win it here. Laird is the best in the AL at throwing runners out and any scout will attest that he is a plus defender behind home plate. The Fielding Bible Awards (which is the real award for fielders in my opinion) also suggests that Laird is the best in the AL. Mauer wins here because the managers tend to look at offensive stats and star names first. Again, Mauer is not a bad selection but Laird deserves to win.

1B – Adrian Gonzalez (SD) – First base is tough here. I can live with Gonzalez but I do think Derek Lee and Albert Pujols were better. Pujols doesn’t get the win due to his 13 errors but he still managed to have a .992 fielding percentage and the most range at the position in the NL. I can flip a coin between the three but I do believe Pujols got robbed here and the Fielding Bible also believes so; he scored a 95 (out of a possible 100) points. The only man that had a chance to win over him was Casey Kotchman, the best fielding first baseman in the game in my opinion, but he did not log enough innings at first for me to warrant giving him the award.

1B – Mark Teixeira (NYY) – Another close call. Tex has incredible hands and plus range. The only better everyday defender at 1B is Kevin Youkilis but he only totaled 647 innings at the position because he was asked to play third for a chunk of the season. Tex only posted a -4.1 UZR/150 as well. Lyle Overbay posted a -0.8 but had the best fielding percentage and the second most assists and should get a mention here.

2B – Orlando Hudson (LAD) – Not even close. Chase Utley, again, gets violently robbed. Utley posted an +11.3 UZR/150 and from scouts that I have talked to he is the best fielding second baseman in the entire league. I have to agree with them. Hudson posted a below average -3.7 UZR/150. Not even close to what Utley did. This is a complete shame and Utley has now been robbed for the fourth and possibly fifth year in a row.

2B – Placido Polanco (DET) – He was voted the winner thanks to only making two errors. While it is important to not throw the ball in the stands and not kick it around it is more important to reach balls out of your zone. Ben Zobrist, in a rare case for me, should get the Gold Glove here. He destroyed everyone in UZR/150 by posting a +30.8 compared to Polanco who had a +11.0, which is Gold Glove caliber. Zobrist loses a little credit due to all the positions he had to play and his lack of innings at the position. I rarely, if ever, vote for a guy with 714 innings at the position but when your UZR/150 is almost three times as high as the second place fielder then you deserve some credit. Oh, and I saw him play almost all 714 innings and his range and arm are plus there, no doubt.

3B – Ryan Zimmerman (WAS) – He deserves this. Plus arm, plus hands, plus range. His UZR/150 of +20.1 is almost double the second best NL third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff at +10.7.

3B – Evan Longoria (TB) – A solid selection here but one can make an argument for Adrian Beltre. Longoria posted a UZR/150 of +19.2 and Beltre posted a +21.0 but Longoria gets the slight nod due to having a better arm and the best range and hands of any third baseman in the league. The Fielding Bible had Beltre at 76 points and Longoria at 75, for what it’s worth. A very close call here by all accounts.

SS – Jimmy Rollins (PHI) – This is almost laughable. Troy Tulowitzki, Rafael Furcal, Brendan Ryan, and J.J. Hardy were all better at short. Tulowitki’s metrics don’t match what scouts say and what I’ve seen of him. Ryan has the best UZR/150 of +13.8 with Furcal at +8.5 and Hardy at +8.8. Tulo only posted a -0.9 so I have to discredit him some there but he did have the second most assists and putouts, not to mention the best range of any shortstop in the NL and a cannon of an arm. Rollins had a +2.9, which is a far cry from the Ryan, Furcal, or Hardy. The Fielding Bible gave the award to Jack Wilson (who posted a major league best +20.4 UZR/150) but he spilt time between the two leagues and didn’t log close to enough innings to give him the award. Tulowitzki was 2nd in the FB, losing by one point to Wilson.

SS – Derek Jeter (NYY) – Geez! This again. His range is poor. His arm strength is below-average. He looks bad on balls in front of him and to either side. Cesar Izturis posted a +14.1 UZR/150, Adam Everett a +13.6, and Elvis Andrus a +11.7. Jeter had a solid +8.4 but he is not match for any of the three mentioned above. This is another case where the managers looked at offensive numbers and notoriety first. The Fielding Bible had Jeter ranked 8th among AL shortstops with 3 points. Andrus was first among AL shortstops at 69 points.

OF – Michael Bourn (HOU), Matt Kemp (LAD), Shane Victorino (PHI) – Let me start by stating that I hate how the award isn’t divided among all three outfield positions. Why does the infield get divided and not the outfield? Makes zero sense to me. Anyway… Bourn is a solid selection here. He has incredible wheels, great range, and a decent arm. His UZR/150 is +8.7 with 11 assists and the Fielding Bible had him as the highest rated NL centerfielder with 40 points. Kemp posted a + 3.2 but only received 12 points in the FB but does have the best arm of any centerfielder and had 14 assists. Victorino is another laughable selection. He has poor range, makes bad judgment calls on balls hit in front of him, a weak arm, and only gets credit because he dives for balls even though most centerfielders would be camped under them. His UZR/150 is -4.2 and he received 14 points in the FB. Better selections would have been Nyjer Morgan (+35.8 and 13 assists), Randy Winn (+20.1 and no errors), Tony Gwynn (+19.4), and Hunter Pence (+5.3 and 16 assists).

OF – Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), Torii Hunter (LAA), Adam Jones (BAL) – The AL winners consist of two guys that received their 9th award in a row and one first time winner. Ichiro posted a +11.3 UZR/150 with 5 assists and 93 Fielding Bible points, Hunter a -2.1 with 2 assists and 25 FB points, and Jones -4.1 with 9 assists and 2 FB points. I am unsure as to how the managers chose Jones. I know exactly why they chose Ichiro and Hunter, although there were many better selections. Franklin Gutierrez had a +27.1 UZR150 with 6 assists, 97 points in the Fielding Bible, and possibly the most range of any player in the game. Carl Crawford had a +17.5 with 6 assists and had 99 points in the Fielding Bible. Of the 10 voters, 9 gave Crawford first place votes and one gave him a second place vote. He is by far the best defensive leftfielder and has now won 3 of 4 Fielding Bible Awards and no Gold Gloves. What a shame! Ryan Sweeney posted a +27.6 and 11 assists and 60 FB points. David DeJesus had a +15.1, 13 assists, no errors, and 68 FB points (thanks to Crawford). Rajai Davis had a +16.2, 8 assists, and 42 FB points. Juan Rivera had a +15.0 with 11 assists and 65 FB points.

P – Adam Wainwright (STL) – I would’ve taken teammate Joel Pineiro and Johan Santana over Wainwright. He makes all the right plays but he is not a Gold Glover.

P – Mark Buehrle (CHW) – The right choice here. He is the best fielding pitcher in the AL, hands down. He is great at holding runners and picking them off too.

So, with all that said, here are my selections for the Gold Glove Awards:

C – Yadier Molina (NL)
C – Gerald Laird (AL)
1B – Albert Pujols (NL)
1B – Mark Teixeira (AL)
2B – Chase Utley (NL)
2B – Ben Zobrist (AL)
3B – Ryan Zimmerman (NL)
3B – Evan Longoria (AL)
SS – Troy Tulowitzki (NL)
SS – Adam Everett (AL)
OF – Nyjer Morgan (NL), Hunter Pence (NL), Michael Bourn (NL)
OF – Franklin Gutierrez (AL), Carl Crawford (AL), Ryan Sweeney (AL)
P – Joel Pineiro (NL)
P – Mark Buehrle (AL)

As you can see, I only agreed with 6 out of 18 of the selections that the voters made. While some of the selections were decent and not far off there were far too many that were purely laughable and simply had zero thought when they were voted for. It’s time for MLB to re-evaluate the Gold Glove voting process and take it out of the hands of the managers and into the hands of the scouting directors.

November 12, 2009 at 1:37 am Leave a comment


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