Juan Soto turns 21 today, so in honor of that we will list some Soto facts. Shin-Soo Choo has surgery, but is still producing. K. Davis failed. Ellsbury is still getting paid. Stanton failed. J. Hicks is a free agent. Is Odor good or not? Who is Votto? A case of Who Am I?
The last 11 teams to start 2-0 have won the World Series. Obviously, this is great news for the Nationals.
JUAN SOTO LOVE
All the Juan Soto data listed below is from this piece.
Soto finished the regular season with 56 homers, tied for the second most ever by a player before turning 21 (which he did so the day this article was written). The record is 61 by Mel Ott.
The 34 homers he hit in 2019 tied Frank Robinson’s for second most hit in a season before turning 21. The record is 42 by Ott.
Soto walked 108 times in ’19, the second most ever fore a player 20 years or younger. Ott had 113 in 1929.
By the way, Mel Ott is a Hall of Famer.
He made 12 All-Star teams, even though his career began well before the ASG started.
He finished top-12 in MVP voting eight times though he never won the award.
He led the league in homers six times on his way to hitting 511.
His career slash line is .304/.414/.533 and he owns a 155 OPS+ which is the 24th best mark in baseball history.
THIS AND THAT
Shin-Soo Choo has one more year left on his contract, and the 37 year old is still going strong. He had surgery on his left shoulder, it will sideline him 4-6 weeks, but he’s fully expected to be ready for Spring Training. Each of his last four healthy seasons he’s hit 20 homers with 80 runs scored, and he even quietly stole 15 bases in 2019, the most since 2013 (he stole an average of six the previous five seasons). He’s also been extremely consistent the last three years hitting .261, .264 and .265 with a .357, .377 and .371 OBP. An unsung hero, still, in fantasy circles.
Khris Davis fell from hitting 42 homers in 3-straight seasons to hitting 23 in 2019. He’s hit at least 22 homers in every season that he’s appeared in 60-games.
Jacoby Ellsbury is still playing, maybe. GM Brian Cashman said that he’s not sure if Ellsbury will be able to play next season. Isn’t it amazing to think that Ellsbury once went 30/30 and that he was a steal from 30/40 actually back in 2011. He hasn’t played since 2017. He made $21.1M in 2018 and $21.1M in 2019. He is also due $21.2 M in 2020 and he has a $5 million buyout in 2021. Contracts like this one are why so many teams are now exceedingly reluctant to hand out contracts of more than a few years, especially if the player is 30 years of age and up.
I’ve gotten into the pumpkin beer thing. Have you tried it? I’m not one of those pumpkin crazy folks, you know those people that have pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cereal, pumpkin cocktails etc., but pumpkin beer, I can do that.
Joe Girardi is the new manager of the Phillies. He made the All-Star game in 2002 and in the end he produced a fantasy season of .278-6-40-47 with a .714 OPS.
John Hicks last 162 games: .229-19-59-57-1. If he could ever do that in one season there would be value in him as he’s catcher eligible after appearing at the spot 60 times in 2019. We all know he cannot. He was sent to Triple-A, but he elected free agency instead.
Rougned Odor has hit 30 homers in 3-of-4 seasons. In fact, he’s gone 30 homers, 75 runs and 10 steals in 3-of-4 seasons. Moreover, he’s actually stolen at least 11 bases with 76 runs in each of the four seasons. He’s also failed to hit .206 in 2-of-3 seasons. There are tons of counting category production here, but there’s also that horrid batting average to consider.
David Ross is the new manager of the Cubs. His nest season was 2006, his first in Cincinnati, when he went .255-21-52-37 with a .932 OPS.
Giancarlo Stanton had a grade 2 quad strain in the ALCS, yet another injury in the laundry list he’s dealt with over the years. The last five years Stanton has more seasons under 28 homers than over it. That’s 3-of-5 years with less than 28 homers. Further, over the last seven years he’s failed to hit 28 homers four times. That’s three seasons of 28 homers the last seven years. You know who else has done that? Todd Frazier, Rougned Odor, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce. Hell, David Ortiz has four seasons of 28 homers the last seven years, and he hasn’t played in three years. There will still be Stanton supports in draft season next year, I’m sure of it.
Thirty coffins, and mummies, have been discovered. There are a lot of crappy mummy movies out there, but the 1932 version with Boris Karloff, that one is well worth watching with some excellent cinematography.
Wilson Ramos has his faults as a player, but he can hit pretty darn well. He’s hit .288 or better in 3-of-4 seasons during which time he’s driven in 70 runners three of four seasons (he appeared in 64 games in 2017). Over his last 1,687 plate appearances, Ramos has hit .294/.346/.463. Let’s compare that to the catcher many would regard as the pinnacle of the position, J.T. Realmuto in that same timeframe: .283/.335/.464. Pretty impressive, right?
I would not recommend this.
Joey Votto did nothing virtually all year. He actually slowed in the second half as his OPS went from .772 in the first to .764 in the second. His wOBA also fell from .333 to .330 in the half game. I’m as big a backer of Votto as there is, but at age 36 it might just be gone.
I ask this sincerely. Are people just looking to fight on social media, or do you think they really are that dense? I’m really unsure what the answer is.
A final comparison.
It’s very difficult to find two players who performed in such similar levels in 2019.
Player A is a third baseman in the AL.
Player B is an outfielder in the AL.
Player A had never hit 10 homers before.
Player B has now hit 20 homers in 4-straight seasons.
They are, in order, Renato Nunez and Randal Grichuk.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Thursday 8-10 PM EDT, and Friday’s from 10-12 PM EST and Sunday’s at 9-11 pm EST on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys) and be sure to listen to his podcast work too.