Saturday, December 5, 2015

Season 27 Awards Recap

I completely missed the post-season awards in Season 26, and I wanted to do something to note Season 27, even though I was distracted from the pre-awards predictions. So, here is the post-season recap.

Las Vegas Slobs 1B Buddy Hollingsworth (13 votes) beat the field to take his second consecutive MVP Award on the strength of his 53 HR (AL leader), 110 run, and 128 RBI (second in the AL) performance. Hollingsworth played in all 162 games, and soared to a .584 Slugging Percentage (5th in the AL) and a .936 OBP. Charlotte Webs DH Hick White (9 votes) was the runner-up with 43 home runs (3rd in the AL) and 108 RBIs and a 1.032 OPS (2nd in the AL). Slobs 3B Frankie Nichting (7 votes) took 3rd in voting, with 46 doubles (tied for the AL lead), 38 HRs, 100 RBIs, and 136 runs (AL leader). Cincinnati Reds 1B Pablo Iglesias (38 doubles, 29 HRS, and 132 RBIs) and Syracuse Yankdawgs LF Benji Rosado (120 runs, 36 doubles, 34 HRs, 119 RBIs, and a .911 OPS) bring up the rear. Yankdawgs 1B Jim Kazmir hit 51 HRs (second in the AL), 127 RBIs (3rd in the AL), and a 1.144 OPS (AL leader) in just 112 games, but an ACL tear cost him 50 games and his second MVP Award.

Honolulu Redbirds 1B Sal Becker (13 votes) won his 4th career MVP Award behind 34 doubles, 35 HRs, 102 RBIs. Becker led the ML with 103 walks, a .477 OBP, and a 1.122 OPS, and finished 3rd in the NL with a .645 Slugging Percentage. Oakland Warriors LF Julian Rodriguez finished second (9 votes) with 55 HRs (Major League leader), 123 RBIs, 120 runs (third in the NL), and 29 steals. Atlanta Bravehearts 1B Ady Perez (4 votes) finished third thanks to his 53 HRs (2nd in the NL), 130 RBIs (5th in the NL), 126 runs (3rd in the NL), and .597 Slugging Percentage (5th in the NL). Detroit Black Sox RF Al Ordonez (36 HRs and an NL-4th place 132 RBIs) and Pawtucket Paw Sox 1B Dicky Scheffer (42 HRs and an NL-leading 143 RBI) rounded off NL voting with 3 votes apiece. Albuquerque Dukes C Chan Ho Xaio was again left off the ballot despite 43 HRS (tied for 4th in the NL), 90 walks (3rd in the NL), and 2nd place finishes in the NL in batting average (.340), OBP (.428), Slugging Percentage (.649), and OPS (1.091).

AL Cy Young:
35-year-old Salem Witches SP Fred Beckett (9 votes) prevailed in an extremely close Cy Young battle in the AL. Beckett went 19-9 with a 3.78 ERA in 243 innings pitched, striking out 195. Beckett led the league in wins and innings, and finished in a tie for second in strikeouts. New York Dodgers SP Bailey Stoddard (7 votes) finished second in an impressive sophomore season, going 15-8 with a 3.25 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 241 innings (finishing second in the NL in ERA, IP, and strikeouts). Florida Horrorshow SP Dock Brooks (6 votes) finished in third with a 16-5 record, a 3.38 ERA, and 169 strikeouts in 199.2 IP. Syracuse Yawkdawgs closer Henry Shaw and Kansas City Burnt Ends closer and AL Fireman of the Year Bump Dirks both finished with 5 votes, Shaw with a 7-2 record, 35 saves, and a 2.47 ERA and Dirks with a 2-1 record, 43 saves, and a 1.99 ERA.

NL Cy Young:
The NL Cy Young Award was a runaway, with Pawtucket Paw Sox ace Moises Ordaz taking 25 of the 32 votes cast thanks to a 25-6 record with a 2.16 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and 235 strikeouts all in 254 innings. Ordaz led the majors in wins, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and IP. Detroit Black Sox SP Melvin Duckworth finished second (3 votes), posting a 24-4 record with a 3.09 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 200 strikeouts in 233 IP. SP Luis Pascual of the Louisville Colonels took third (2 votes) with a 20-8 record and a 2.88 ERA. Detroit Black Sox SP Barry Woods and Honolulu Redbirds closer Enrique Cruz finished out voting with 1 vote apiece. Woods went 18-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 220 IP, while Cruz went 8-5 with 40 saves and a 1.97 ERA. Honolulu Redbirds SP Diego Sojo fell short of the ballot despite a 19-5 record, 209 strikeouts and a 2.92 ERA in 243.1 innings.

AL Rookie of the Year:
Salem Witches 3B Alex Jose (13 votes) prevailed, hitting .288 with 92 runs, 33 HRs, 80 RBIs, and a .905 OPS. Second was Syracuse Yawkdawgs RF Julio Neruda (10 votes), who his 29 HRs and had 90 RBIs, with a .919 OPS. Jacksonville Jaxx CF Kiki Arruebarrena and Kansas City Burnt Ends SP Brian Foster finished in a tie for third (4 votes). Arruebarrena hit 33 doubles, stole 23 bases, and scored 88 runs, while Foster went 8-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 118 innings on the mound. New York Dodgers 2B Erisbel Marmol was 5th with 1 vote after hitting 31 doubles, scored 87 runs, walking 99 times, and adding a .403 OBP and a .859 OPS.

NL Rookie of the Year:
Our last category sees a surprise as balloting ended with a tie for NL Rookie of the Year, knotted at 10 votes apiece for Oakland Warriors CF Adrian Ramsay and Albuquerque Dukes 1B Todd Reese. Ramsay scored 119 runs, hit 50 doubles and 32 HRs, knocked in 95, had a .828 OPS, and stole 29 bases. Reese his 36 HRs, had 82 runs scored and 99 RBIs, with a .604 Slugging Percentage and a 1.000 OPS. Pawtucket Paw Sox SP Donaldo Nieves (7 votes) finished third, going 14-7 with a 3.42 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 136.2 Innings Pitched and 25 starts. Colorado Crush 2B Hod Titan (3 votes) scored 93 runs and knocked in 80, hitting .337 with a .813 OPS. The runner-up was Jackson Little Jacks Closer Chris Owings, who saved 34 games and threw to a 1.86 ERA in 38.2 innings and 41 games.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


As we enter season 27 and look at candidates for the J5B Hall, here are some J5B All-time stats to consider.  Where there is a next best listed, the top mark was so far ahead of number two that I felt it was necessary to list more than one record.

Batting Average Allowed                                       .201
Complete Games                                                  64
ERA                                                                     2.24
OBP allowed                                                        .265
Save %                                                               .918
Saves                                                                  603 (next best 536)
Shutouts                                                              19
Slugging % Allowed                                              .287
SO to BB ratio                                                      3.56
Strikeouts                                                            3397

Batting Average                                                    .339
Hits                                                                      3338
HRs                                                                      725 (nest best 675)
OBP                                                                      .440
2 out RBIs                                                             806
RBIs                                                                      2019
Runs Created                                                         2636.39
Slugging %                                                            .968
Stolen Bases                                                          1086

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Awards for Season 25

So, it's that time again: Awards for Season 25.

We'll start with the NL RotY: I'll start with Grover Simon and Michael Lee, two interesting lead-off threats. Lee had more power, but was caught stealing more often Simon doesn't quite have the power, but had a solid but unspectacular start with some speed. McKay Whitehill and Francis Matthews both look like promising starters, and both had impressive rookie campaigns. Matthews put up more captivating numbers, with a better record, better ERA, better WHIP, better control, a better K/9, and lower avgs across the board, though in nearly 40 fewer innings. Angel Lee improved greatly on his Season 24 campaign, but still isn't quite at the level of the starts (and how does a 46 game pitcher in Season 24 keep eligibility in Season 25?). Matthews is my choice.

AL ROTY: Oof. Is None of the Above an option? It's not hideous, but seriously lacking. One could make the argument that almost all of the NL RotY candidates could have won here. Julio Arrojo looks like a nice SS, and is a plus fielder, but the strikeouts are a corncern. Jesus Lecuona was a spectacular threat on the basepaths (42 for 42!), but the lack of OPS and .677 OPS certainly drags him down. His shakiness in the field, split between 2B and the OF corners, doesn't help his case. R.A. Craig definitely helped his club out of the pen, with a remarkable 10-1 record and 6 saves, but is dragged down by a weak ERA, high WHIP, and bad avgs (he allowed a .475 SLG!). Christopher Montgomery broke even with a 12-12 record with an ERA under 4.00 (3.95). He was a solid innings-eater, and was 14th in the AL in strikeouts. However, he was fairly lackluster for a team that did somehow win the division with a record under .500. Fred Morgan was unspectacular as a 2-hole bat, scoring 74 runs and walking more often than striking out. He put up a .857 OPS, and a quite respectable .391 OBP, balancing out 7 negative plays in RF. I might vote for Morgan here - he's my guy - but as an analyst I'd choose Montgomery.

NL Cy: Grant Kelly was probably the most interesting pitcher here, putting up 54 saves and great WHIP, K/9, and BB/9 numbers. However, I always lean towards a solid starter, and we have 4 legit candidates. Barry Woods" and Denard Kinney are both fairly new, RotY eligible last season. Kinney is the only candidate whose team missed the playoffs, and was probably the odd man out with the most losses, the only 3.00+ ERA, and the highest WHIP and OAvg. Of the other three, Woods had the lowest ERA, WHIP, OAvg, K/9, and BB/9. Jared O'Keefe threw the lowest innings, but had the best winning percentage. Luis Pascual had the most innings pitched by nearly 30, and the most wins. I'm going Woods here - his team barely squeaked in the playoffs, he put up a solid 228 innings, and his numbers were that much better.

AL Cy: Similar to the NL, we have 4 starters and a closer. Unlike the NL, the starters were all above 3.00 ERAs. Jack Garcia saved 49, while allowing only a 2.11 ERA. However, he might be the third best of the profusion of Stingers on the list. An aside: the Stingers placed 3 in the top 5 despite pitching in a hitter's park, and finishing out of the playoffs. Anyway, to be honest, none of the four remaining pitchers (Donovan Hines> and Reagan Ford of the Stingers, Charles Steele of the Yankdawgs, and Kyle Cornelius of the High Flyers) stands out. Frankly, Dwayne Stanley of the Mud Hens was probably the best pitcher, but isn't a candidate. I'll eliminate Steele first - he threw the most innings and wass the only candidate in the playoffs, but his 107 runs and 3.55 ERA are well higher than the others. Hines had the most wins, the fewest HRS allowed, and the lowest ERA. Ford threw the most innings of the three, and did allow the most runs and the highest ERA, but also struck out the most. Cornelius had 15 less innings pitched than Hines and 18 less than Ford, and only struck out 115, but allowed the fewest hits and the lowest ERA. Any of the top three are good choices, but I'll go with Ford - he threw more innings and had reasonable numbers.

NL MVP: First, WHERE IS CHAN HO XAIO??? 44 HRS, a 1.071 OPS - he deserves to be a candidate. Virgil Castillo is the only candidate that doesn't play 1B, and was solid in RF. His .819 OPS isn't at the level of the others, but his 64 SBs speaks to a solid leadoff man. Dustan Perez had 27 plus plays at 1B, and put up an .868 OPS with 33 HRs. Raul Picasso played a solid 1B with a net 18 plus plays, and scored 108 runs, but wasn't an thrilling as the two finalists. Sal Becker vs. Dicky Scheffer - is this the final two every season? 7 MVP Awards between them, including four of the last five. Scheffer had 49 HRS and a .983 OPS, but 14 minus plays at 1st. Becker had 41 HRS, 41 doubles, and a stellar 1.107 OPS, with 9 minus plays at 1st. This season, the choice is clearly Becker.

AL MVP: In the AL, we have 4 1Bs and a DH. The DH, Hick White, put up some impressive numbers - 30HRs, 87 RBIs, 96 runs scored, a .461 OPS, and a 1.021 OPS. However, DH. William Barfield>, owner of 7 Sliver Sluggers and 2 MVPs, hit for 36 HRS, a .981 OPS, and added 120 runs scored. Buddy Hollingsworth hit for 53 HRs (his 3rd season with 50+ HRs, and nary an MVP), with 103 runs scored and 141 RBIs, plus a .930 OPS. Second best was Rich Tulowitzki, who coupled power numbers of 41 HRs, 135 RBIs, and 123 runs scored, and a .910 OPS, with a whopping 72 steals! However, credit where credit is most definitely due. Each season, one bat is just an absolute monster. This year, it was Jim Kazmir. 61 HRs, 173 RBIs, 118 runs scored, 209 hits, a .703 SLG, and a 1.141 OPS! Easily Kazmir.

So, I've got Kazmir, Becker, Ford, Woods, Montgomery, Matthews. How about you?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Season 25 Hall of Fame Candidates, Part Three

I'm finishing off our Hall contenders with seven candidates, including a plethora of closers. The closers appear stacked up. Simply put, all of the best closers are candidates.

Solid Candidates

Kane Durocher - Durocher pitched for 17 seasons in the majors, with parts of 9 coming for the Hartford/Rochester Horrorshow and parts of 6 seasons for the Tacoma Travelers/San Diego Pipeline franchise. In 879 games, he went 40-58 with 536 saves, a 3.48 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Durocher was selected for 9 All-Star Games, and won the AL Fireman of the Year Award (with the San Diego Pipeline) in Season 5. Durocher is the all-time leader in saves for the league. Durocher's top votes year was Season 21, with 2 votes.

Javier Gil - Gil pitched in 17 seasons in the majors, spending 5 seasons witht the Santa Fe Express and 6 seasons with the New York Dodgers. In 1081 games, Gil went 97-83 with 479 saves, a 3.25 ERA, and a 1.17 WHIP. Gil was selected for 8 All-Star Games, won the AL Fireman of the Year (with the New York Dodgers) in Season 16, and won a World Series Ring in Season 15 (also with the Dodgers). Gil is 5th all-time in saves. Gil has never exceeded 1 vote for the Hall.

Hersh Maholm - 2B Maholm played 14 seasons in the majors, 11 coming with the Dover Destroyers. Maholm hit .266/.341/.530 with 532 home runs and 273 doubles. Maholm went to 6 All-Star Games, winning the All-Star Game MVP Award in Season 11, and won 5 Silver Slugger Awards. Maholm is 4th all-time in assists by a second baseman with 4,874, 4th all-time in putouts by a second baseman with 3,460, and 5th all-time in double plays by a second baseman with 1,063.

Luther Riggs - Riggs pitched for 17 seasons in the majors, 10 seasons with the Dover Destroyers and parts of 6 seasons with the Pawtucket Paw Sox. In 843 games, Riggs went 41-60 with 518 saves, a 3.07 ERA, and a 1.14 WHIP. Riggs went to 8 All-Star Games, and won the NL Fireman of the Year Award for 4 straight seasons (Seasons 13 and 14 with the Destroyers, and 15 and 16 with the Paw Sox). Riggs is 3rd all-time in saves.

Felipe Sanchez - Sanchez pitched for 20 seasons in the majors, 10 of which went spent with a franchise that went by the names Burlington Black Bears, Rochester Red Wings, Ottawa Canucks, and Augusta Gloops. In 1217 games, Sanchez went 62-79 with 525 saves, a 3.03 ERA, and a 1.10 WHIP. Sanchez went to 8 All-Star Games, was NL Fireman of the Year three consecutive seasons (7 through 9, all with the Gloops), and won a World Series Ring in Season 16 with the Anaheim Angels. Sanchez is 2nd all-time in saves, 2nd all-time in games pitched, and is tied for 4th all-time in WHIP. Sanchez's top Hall votes year was Season 21, with 5 votes.

Raul Tatis - 2B/CF Tatis played 28 seasons in the majors, including parts of 6 seasons with the Nashville Tractor Pulls and 7 seasons with the Boston Patriots. Tatis went .292/.357/.340 with 873 stolen bases and 1734 runs. He went to the All-Star Game 4 times, and won a World Series Ring in Season 6 (with the Tractor Pulls). Tatis leads all-time in at-bats (10,599), infield hits (826, nearly double the next contender), and plate appearances (11,693), is 2nd in hits (with 3,097), 3rd in stolen bases, and 4th in games played (with 2,635) and runs scored. Tati's top Hall vote came with 4 votes in Season 22.

Benito Tejada - Tejada pitched in 16 seasons in the majors, 13 of which were spent with the Oakland Bay City Bullies/Hololulu Pohaku Kekoa/Oakland Knightmare/Arizona Border Patrol franchise. in 916 major league games, he went 50-57 with 447 saves, a 2.51 ERA, and a 1.06 WIP. Tejeda went to 7 All-Star Games, won the AL Fireman of the Year Award 4 times (Seasons 7, 10, 11, and 12, all with the Bay City Bullies), and won a World Series Ring in Season 12 (also with the Bullies). Tejeda is 2nd all-time in ERA and WHIP.

The Future

It is important that we start clearing the backlog of Hall candidates (if that is what we intend to do) becuase there are a number of stellar candidates nearing the end of their careers, including pitchers Magglio Escobar, Scooter Lee, Steven Petersen, and Greg Price.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Season 25 Hall of Fame Candidates, Part Two

Yet another installation of my Hall of Fame posting.

Solid Candidates

Benito Aquino - Catcher Aquino spent 14 of his 17 major leagues behind the Anaheim Angels dish, hiting .276/.341/.485 with 443 HRs and 347 doubles. Aquino went to the All-Star Game four times, winning the All-Star Game MVP Award in Season 15 and the Home Run Derby crown in Season 16, plus won the Gold Glove once, won the Silver Slugger once, and won World Series Rings in Seasons 16 and 18 (both with the Angels, both with Jake Benson). Aquino received a high of 2 Hall votes in Season 24.

Jake Benson - CF Jake Benson split his 16 seasons primarily between the Oakland Bay City Bullies, the Toronto Elite Thunder Bolts, and the Anaheim Angels. Benson hit .277/.371/456 with 288 home runs, 521 doubles, and 1086 stolen bases (while caught just 60 times). He played in 9 All-Star Games, won the AL Rookie of the Year in Season 5, won Silver Sluggers 7 times, and won World Series Rings in Seasons 16 and 18 (both with the Angels, both with Benito Aquino). Benson is 5th all-time in doubles, 3rd in runs (with 1,784; both ahead of Benson are in the Hall), and 1st in stolen bases (with 1,086, nearly 200 above anyone else). Benson received a high of 6 votes in Season 23.

William DeJean - Starting Pitcher DeJean spent 18 seasons in the majors, split between the Cleveland Grey Sox Senators, the Oakland Bay City Bullies, and Monterrey EXPRESS, among others. DeJean in 550 games (all but 3 were starts) went 228-155 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He went to 2 All-Star Games, won the AL Cy Young Award in Season 14 with the Oakland Knightmare, and won World Series Rings in Seasons 9 and 12 (both with the Oakland Bay City Bullies).

Anthony Dickens - RF Dickens spent 10 of his 16 season with the Toledo Mud Hens. He hit .293/.401/.481 with 332 home runs and 436 doubles. He played in 7 All-Start Games, winning the All-Star Game MVP Award in Season 5, won the AL MVP Award in Season 6 (with the Mud Hens), won 4 Silver Sluggers, and won a World Series Ring in Season 5 (Mud Hens again).

Hopefully, tomorrow and Par 3 will close out this Series.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Season 25 Hall of Fame Candidates, Part One

Yet again, the time for Hall of Fame voting is upon us. Yet again, there are a plethora of legitimate Hall candidates. In light of that, here is a 2-part primer on some of the top candidates.

The Consensus Candidates

Every season, a number of us try to encourage voting for a group of consensus candidates. Look, there are a number of really good options. If we knock off a few every season, we'll get through your preference eventually.

Einar Cabrera - Cabrera spent 20 seasons pitching in the major leagues, primarily with the Cleveland Grey Sox Senators/Toronto Elite Thunder Bolts franchise. In 713 pitching appearances (541 starts) he put up a 257-137 record, with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP (and 9 saves). He went to the All-Star Game 6 times, and won a Gold Glove once. Cabrera's 257 wins are fifth all-time in the league, and the three eligible pitchers are already enshrined in the Hall. He also sits fourth all-time in strikeouts with 2,797.

Benito Flores - Flores pitched for seven franchises in his 18 years in the majors. In 584 appearances (550 starts), Flores went 239-156 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He went to the All-Star Game 6 times, and hurled a no-hitter next long after a trade to the Texas Coyotes in Season 17.

Weldon Hughes - Hughes pitched 15 seasons in the majors, with all but 14 of his 495 games pitched in the uniform of the Pawtucket Paw Sox. Hughes went 225-108 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He went to 7 All-Star Games and won World Series Rings in Seasons 8 and 13. In Season 8, Hughes won the NL Cy Young Award after going 24-5 with a 2.73 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP, allowing just a .203 average to opposing batters. He won a second NL Cy Young Award for a Season 11 with a 25-3 record, 2.62 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, and a .205 opposing average.

In Part Two, I'll cover other top candidates.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Awards Time

OK, Awards time! This little posting originated on the league chat board, and someone suggested posted it on the blog for posterity. I've been doing these writeups for several years now.

AL RoY: Really, there are two candidates. Javier Jimenez and Greg Howell contributed, but were 4 and 5 in the group with seasons that established them as major league starters but not stars. Taylor Barkley is a weird case - he threw in 46 ML games last season, but somehow retained eligibility? - and was good not great as a 26 save closer with a highish ERA (4.36). Dwayne Stanley was 10-7 with a 3.58 ERA for a .500 team, while Arismendy Perez jumped from High A to the ML and went 11-4 and a 3.14 in a much more hitter-friendly park. I'll go for Perez here.

NL RoY: In one of WIS' oddities, they didn't list any of Tito Martin's stats because he is listed as a 3B, but didn't play 3B this season. Martin put up decent numbers (.255/.326/.440 with 44 doubles), mostly in LF. Jack Meluskey is in the similar boat of nice numbers, but not at the level of the top candidates. Bill Lincoln began his career with a solid season of starting pitching, but isn't the best candidate at his position or on his team. The two real contenders are pitcher Barry Woods and LF Julian Rodriguez. Both put up more than respectable numbers for playoff contender teams. Rodriguez play more games, and was a solid 3/5 hitter with 41 HRs and a .920 OPS; Woods took awhile to lock up a starting slot, but excelled once he was there with a 16-5 record and 2.11 ERA in 29 games/23 starts. In the offense v defense, I'll go defense and Barry Woods here - seriously good numbers, worthy of the Cy Young discussion.

AL Cy: Don Locke was an important piece of a legitimate playoff team, but his ERA and OAvg is too high to be in the mix. Hector Gardel was better, but he threw almost 25 innings less than the next competitor. The top three all play in similar stadiums, with Cincinnati slightly more prone to HRs. All pitched for playoff teams. I'll go for Alexi Hernandez in third - great year, with the best record and a perfect game, but allowed more hits than IP and had the highest ERA. Scooter Lee or Bengie Cayones? If I were going like the NL, I would go for Bengie as the upset. But, the truth is, this is a more apples to apples matchup than in the NL, and Scooter was a tastier apple. He had the best of virtually every number except walks. One for the thumb for Scooter.

(A disclaimer note: I traded Bengie Cayones at the start of his career in a trade that netted me Juan Dominguez. Dominguez has been amazing, and netted an MVP during his Horrorshow career, but I shake my head at trading Cayones to this day.)

NL Cy: Hard-fought battle here. Ezequiel Chacin is solid, but with a higher ERA, lowish K/9, and 11 losses, he's bottom of the 5. Barry Woods had a great season (Rookie of the Year!), but only had 23 starts and 179 innings. Diego Sojo put in yeoman's work, throwing over 247 innings with a really solid record. He struck people out at a 9.33 clip, and he was the top starter in the league. Tori Miles was a top-notch closer with 41 saves and the best ERA in the bunch. Bronson Boyle threw less than any of them, but saved almost every appearance (49 saves in 55 games!) in a hitters park, all from a 67 Overall guy. In a normal year, Sojo is the choice, but you expect it out of Sojo. This year I have to honor the unexpected. Boyle for Cy Young.

AL MVP: Frankie Nichting was a solid player out of the leadoff spot, but not at the level of the top three. Will Moore is much the same, a solid mix of power and speed from the leadoff spot with the additional boost of a good CF, but not in the top. William Barfield was his usual exceptional, and led his team to playoff contention, and Bronson Lemke was much the best for a bad team. However, Jim Kazmir brought the power, with comparable or better numbers in only 132 games. I wish we had gotten to see 30 more games of that season. In any case, I'll go Kazmir over a virtual tie in Barfield and Lemke.

(Another Disclaimer Note: Will Moore is a proud Horrorshow star. So, conflict of interest and all of that.)

NL MVP: Raul Picasso was a good contact hitter, but contact 1Bs never work for an MVP. Francicso Ramirez was the only non-1B is the mix, but he wasn't great in the field, and his batting was weakest of them all. Greg Collins is a better version of Picasso without the power, but not the best. Dicky Scheffer is often the best (5 MVPS to his name), and 48 HRs make a great case, but not this year. Sal Becker was just stellar, a huge step above everyone this year. He was nearly 200 points better in OPS than his nearest MVP competitor! Pretty much says it all.

So, there's my choices: Kazmir, Becker, Lee, Boyle, Perez, and Woods. Any debate?

Oh, and a postscript. Oddly enough, that really is his name, Francicso Ramirez. Probably the most obvious example of a typo, but interesting in its offbeat nature. Good old Francicso.

And an idle musing: Are Jack Meluskey and Christopher Meluskey brothers?