Get ready for the cavalcade of love for Vlad Guerrero after he lost weight. The Mets signed a couple of former speedsters in Mallex and Peraza. The Twins might drop Rosario? He is appreciably different as a producer than Ozuna? What are some of the highlights from the Gold Gloves in 2020?
GUERRERO GETTING IN SHAPE
Vlad Guerrero Jr. has finally realized that his body is his career. Since the season ended, the rotund 21 year old has lost 12 lbs. Further, since the start of the ’20 season he dropped 32 lbs. For a 21 year old pro athlete to drop 32 pounds… you have to have been doing nothing to be in shape. Frankly, it is rather amazing that Vlad has been as successful as he has been to date, given that he hadn’t done anything to keep his body in shape as a professional. It’s good that he is finally taking his conditioning seriously, but it does concern me a bit to think that it’s taken years of people telling him to lose weight, for him to finally lose weight.
Look for the ever-present fantasy love, despite league average levels of production, to be pushed to even higher heights because of this news. Not sure how losing weight is going to lead to him actually hitting the ball in the air, or how the less mass will help, but watch for the fantasy love to continue to be ratcheted upward as folks fall over themselves for the “greatest shape of his life” storyline.
ROSARIO ON THE MOVE?
According to Dan Hayes, it sounds like the Twins might be ready to move on from Eddie Rosario. Projected to make $10-12 million in his third year of arbitration, it sounds like the Twins might just say no thanks and let Rosario find another place to ply his trade. Is that really where we are in 2020-21 baseball? I’ve warned about the free agent landscape previously, but this seems really odd to me. Would the Twins, one of the most potent offenses in baseball, really head into 2021 without Nelson Cruz and Rosario and think they would be fine? Would they use the Rosario money to bring back Cruz? Regardless of that, there’s a basic question that needs to be addressed.
Should the Twins pay Rosario a 1-year deal for $11 million? His production says – yes.
From 2017-19, Rosario’s average effort was .284-28-88-86-7. That’s darn solid levels of production. Further, his last full season of 2019 led to a .276-32-106-91 effort. Just 29 years old, that level of production, when combined with his age, says $10-12 million a season is well within the norm of what teams have been paying. Given that it would only be for one year, there’s only one logical reason for the Twins to cast him adrift unless…
Player salaries are going to plummet this offseason.
OZUNA’s HOME MOVING FORWARD?
Marcell Ozuna will be 30 years old on Opening Day 2021. He was an elite performer in ’20 going .338-18-56 with a 175 OPS+. The perception is that he’s much better than Rosario. Is he?
The last three full seasons of 2017-19 follow based on an average effort for Ozuna and Rosario.
Basically, the same age.
Basically, the same average.
Basically, the same homers.
Basically, the same runs scored.
Basically, the same OPS and OPS+.
Yes, Ozuna destroyed Rosario in 2020.
However, if we look at 2018-19…
In 2018-19, Rosario bested Ozuna in all six categories.
Watch Ozuna get paid, while Rosario might be let go by his team.
As for where Ozuna might end up, check out this story.
METS MOVES – LOOKING FOR SPEED
Jose Peraza hit .324 in 2016 and .288 in 2019. In fact, the 26 year old has a .270 career average. Further, as recently as 2018 Peraza went .288-14-58-85-23, a third straight season of 20-steals by the way. Alas, he posted a .631 OPS with seven steals in 2019 only to post a .617 mark with one seal in 2020. He’s stopped hitting the last two seasons, stopped running, and has been a complete zero offensively. He will hope to carve out an NL-only role with the Mets as a middle infield option with speed. Age is on his side, but the last two years have been ugly.
The Mets signs Mallex Smith to a minor league deal. A year removed from a career best 46 steals, his second straight season of 40 steals, Smith somehow stole two bases in 2020 as he hit .133 over 45 at-bats. It was a completely lost season. He’s only 27 years old so it may be too hasty to toss him in with Billy Hamilton, but without a true ability to contribute if he’s not swiping bases, it is gonna be damn near impossible to trust Smith come mixed league drafts in 2021 after what we’ve seen of late. I kinda wanna cut him a mulligan, and we all know how valuable steals can be, but I just can’t get there right now. You shouldn’t be there either.
MLB GOLD GLOVE WINNERS
You can find the full list of the winners at this link. Here are some of the highlights if you missed it (why on Earth were these announced the night of the presidential election?).
Nolan Arenado won his 8th GG in eight big league seasons. That’s the longest stretch to begin a career for any infielder, ever.
Griffin Canning and Max Fried won the pitcher’s awards.
Noted slugger, and former infielder, Joey Gallo won his first award. He led all outfielders with 12 Defense Runs Saved.
Alex Gordon retires winning his 8th GG. Did you realize he had eight awards?
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the guy we used at catcher all season long in fantasy, won the AL GG at third base.
Anthony Rizzo won his third in a row, and fourth in five years.
Evan White became the first rookie to win a Gold Glove at first base – ever.
Kolten Wong won his second straight GG. He was recently let go by the Cardinals.
THE TIME MACHINE
I was cleaning out the old computer files, and I came across the following. It was written in August of 2006, so some of the numbers may no longer be accurate, but there’s still some cool stuff in here (at least I think so).
1. Known as “Iron Man” because of his rubber arm, Joe McGinnity should have been known as “Wild Man” in 1900 when he set a single season record of 41 hit batters.
2. Known as a singles hitter by most most casual fans, where you aware that Ty Cobb finished in the 10 in OPS a record 20 times during his career (tied with Cap Anson)?
3. No one would be surprised to hear that Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth hold the all-time record with 18 seasons finishing in the leagues top 10 in HR. However, would you be surprised if you found out they were tied at 18 with a third man? Would you have guessed that man was Mel Ott?
4. Robin Roberts is a Hall of Famer, so isn’t it a bit surprising to hear that he holds the all-time record with 10 separate seasons in which he finished in the top 10 in the league in loses (tied with Early Wynn who went 300-244)? He did manage to finish his career with a 286-245 record.
5. From 1968-76 Tom Seaver struck out at least 200 batters per season. Why is that significant? Well, those 9 straight years of 200+ Ks is the longest streak in baseball history.
6. From 1908-1919 Walter Johnson had an ERA under 2.50 in every single season (a ML record 12 straight seasons). His ERA during those 12 years was 1.64.
7. From 1910-1916 Walter Johnson had an ERA below 2.00 in every season (a ML record 7 straight seasons). His ERA during those seven years was 1.56.
8. From 1903-1914 all Christy Mathewson did was win (327 Wins, 133 Loses), an average season of 27-11. In fact, he won at least 20 games in each of those 12 seasons to set the record for most consecutive 20 win seasons.
9. From 1992-2004, Barry Bonds hit at least 30 HRs in every season, a record 13 straight. During that span, Bonds averaged 47 per season.
10. Would it surprise you to learn that the record for consecutive 30 save seasons is only 8 by Trevor Hoffman (1995-2002)?
11. In 1912, Chief Wilson hit a major league record 36 triples (the 2005 ML leader, Jose Reyes, had 17). Almost as shocking as the overall number is the fact that Wilson’s second best mark in triples in a season was only 14.
12. 1931 was a good year for doubles as Earl Webb set an all-time single season record with 67. During the rest of his career, Webb’s second best mark was a paltry 30 in 1930.
13. In 1982 Rickey Henderson set a single season record with 130 SB. What is less known is that Henderson also set the all-time single season caught stealing mark that year when he was nabbed 42 times.
14. Miller Huggins fashioned himself as a basestealer stealing 20 or more bases on nine occasions. However he was the most discerning of runners. In 1914 he stole 32 bases but was caught 36 times.
15. Barry Bonds set a ML record with 120 Intentional Base on Balls in 2004. He also has the 2nd and 3rd best seasons as well (68, 61). The highest non-Bonds mark? Willie McCovey’s 45 in 1969.
16. Because he rarely takes a took a walk, Jose Reyes made a whopping 536 Outs in 2005, the 4th highest mark in baseball history (Omar Moreno had 560 Outs in 1980).
17. In 1993 Lenny Dykstra was the leadoff man for the Philadelphia Phillies batting .305-19-66-143-37. During that season he came to the plate 773 times, a major league record.
18. To say that fielders, techniques and equipment have improved over the years would be an understatement. In 2005 Edgar Renteria lead the majors with 30 errors, well off the all-time single season mark of 122 held by Herman Long (1889) and Billy Shindle (1890).