It’s been a long fantasy baseball season, has it not? There are still a few days left in the season, it might even go until Monday now with all the bad weather on the east coast, and every at-bat, every pitch seems to have taken on even greater importance. We’re still covering things for you here at FG, so here is the final regular season Ramblings piece for 2023.
Let’s not forget how great Miguel Cabrera has been.
He’s won two MVP’s.
He won a Triple Crown (.330-44-139 in 2012).
He won four batting tites.
He made 12 All-Star teams.
From his first full season of 2004 through 2013, his average season was .324-35-120-102 with a 157 OPS+.
He’s 13th in RBI.
He’s 14th in total bases.
He’s 17th in hits.
He’s also 45th in career bWAR.
HOF here he comes.
WIlilam Contreras has had a pretty magical season.
He’s at .289-17-77-83-5 on the season and his second half has been pretty magical at .316/.387/.494 with a .378 wOBA. He’s really good. He’s basically JT Realmuto without the steals piece.
Really J.P. Crawford?
He had never walked 70 times before. He also has 18 homers, his previous best was nine, in what has been a career best season. Still, even if he holds on to the newfound eye at the dish, he doesn’t run, has never hit 20 homers and he’s only batting .265 this season (career: .252). He did hit the ball much better than ever before, but Statcast still has hit bottom 15 percent in baseball in barrel rate, bottom 25 percent in hard-hit rate and bottom 35 percent in exit velocity. Doesn’t seem like there is another level here.
Wilmer Flores is the Giants leading homer bat with 22. He has 57 RBI. That mark is third on the team behind Michael Conforto (58) and J.D. Davis (69). No 25 homer hitters or 70 RBI bats. Yikes.
Andres Gimenez is putting on a hell of a late kick for the Guardians. The last two weeks he’s played 11 games going .395-3-11-10-2 with a .456 wOBA. He’s only hitting .254 after batting .297, but he’s gone 15/30 with more runs (75) than last season on his way to a solid, if unexciting, .254-15-62-75-30 effort. Speaking of the Guardians…
Steven Kwan went .298-6-52-89-19 last season, and this year he’s at .270-5-54-93-20. The counting category numbers are virtually identical as are his ISO (.101 and .102), BB-rate (9.7 and 9.7) and K-rate (9.4 and 10.4). I think we have a pretty good idea who he will be in 2024.
Chase McCormick needs on steal for a 20/20 effort while teammate Kyle Tucker needs a homer and steal for a 30/30 season, a year after doing 30/25.
The last two weeks, Parker Meadows has two homers, three steals and a .398 wOBA. Thirty-four games into his big-league career he has scored 17 times, stolen seven bags and walks 15 times. The batted ball data all says – worse than league average – but I’ll give him a C+ to start his career.
Mickey Moniak has a .646 SLG in the first half. His OPS in the second half is .657.
Some Nationals highlights. (1) Lane Thomas has gone 27/20 and is two runs from 100. (2) CJ Abrams is two homers and a steal from 20/45. (3) Joey Meneses needs three RBI for 90.
Josh Naylor has gone .306-17-97-52-10 to date. The runs scored mark is horrible, but the other four marks are outstanding from a player who wasn’t drafted in mixed leagues.
The Padres are close to some significant milestones. (1) Juan Soto needs five runs to go 35-100-100-10. (2) Fernando Tatis needs a steal for 25/30. (3) Xander Bogaerts needs a homer and steal for 20/20. (4) Ha-Seong Kim is 17/36.
Isaac Paredes has played 14 games at second, 23 at first and 114 at third, so he might have tri-position eligibility next year which is special. He was solid last year with 20 homers in 381 PA, but he’s taking his game to another level this season at .250-31-97. The only change he’s made is adding six degrees to his launch angle, it’s now 22.0 percent, but I gotta tell ya… its really hard to see a repeat when your batted ball data is this blah. I mean, he’s both 15-percent in barrel rate and bottom eight percent in hard-hit rate. His expected homer total if he played in Baltimore this year would have been nine, 16 in PIT, 17 in CLE, 18 in MIA/LAA. Be cautious here.
Jeremy Pena had a .309 wOBA and 102 wRC+ as a rookie. This year he’s at .309 and 96 as he’s lost nine points in OPS and fifty-five points in ISO while seeing his homer total cut in half (22 to 10) in what has been a terribly disappointing season after he showed up at camp looking like he had the Incredible Hulk’s biceps.
The Reds have five players who have gone 15/14: Steer, Friedl, India, McLain and Fraley. They also have Will Benson at 11/17 in less than 320 PA and Elly De La Cruz at 13/35 in 413 PA.
The last two weeks Brendan Rodgers has finally awoken going .404/.446/.635. Hard to think he will ever reach the heights once predicted, but he will still be 27 when next season begins.
Julio Rodriguez continues to set records…
Spencer Torkelson has arrived folks.
Jared Triolo has played 10 games the last two weeks for the Pirates and he’s killed it hitting .515-2-5-11-2 with a .611 wOBA. That’s insane levels folks. Did you pick him up cause you were desperate and then were rewarded with an astounding two weeks?
Mike Trout has one season of 20 homers………. in four years.
Alex Diaz is struggling to close out the year with a 6.67 xFIP in September along with less than 7.5 K/9 with a 5.6 BB/9 rate. Been a great season, but he’s messy right now.
Sawyer Gipson-Long made four starts for the Tigers. In each outing he went exactly five innings, never allowing more than two earned runs. He ended the four game audition with a 2.70 ERA (3.76 xFIP) with 26 punchouts and two homers allowed in 20 innings. He doesn’t profile as anything other than an SP5 in the bigs, but he’s given the Tigers a good deal to think about this offseason.
Sonny Gray, listed at four innings and 55 pitches in his final outing to prep for the playoffs, set a homer record.
He had a 0.41 HR/9 against lefties and 0.38 against righties this season – which is amazing. Not sure how he held on to a 6.1 HR/FB against lefties and 4.5 HR/FB ratio against righties this season. Might have a rude awakening next year. That said, he made 32 starts with a 2.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, so he deserves a tip of the cap. Somehow, he’s posted a 2.90 ERA over 56 starts with the Twins winning just 16 games (eight wins each year).
Jordan Montgomery finishes at 10-11 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 166 Ks over 188.2 innings. In 11 starts for the Rangers he was money with a 2.79 ERA and 1.09 WHIP and he will now look to get paid on the open market as one of the more stable left-handed starting pitchers in baseball.
Chris Sale has been named the Opening Day starter, kinda, for the Red Sox.
He will barely be 35 two days into the season next year, coming off a season of 102.2 innings pitched, a three year high. He still had an impressive 29.4 K-rate and 6.8 BB-rate this season with a 1.13 WHIP, and those numbers do pop (even if they aren’t prime-time Sale). It will be fascinating to see how people value him next season with his birth certificate number and the up and down nature of his health. Just stay away from bicycle riding Chris.
Marcus Stroman had a 2.28 ERA his first 16 starts as he went 9-4. Over his final 11 outings he went 1-5 with a 8.29 ERA (4.17 xFIP). Goodness gracious. In the end he had a 3.95 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, numbers which are pretty darn close to his career totals (3.65 and 1.25), but my goodness did he fall into a toilet late in the year.
Devin Williams has been fantastic with 36 saves in 40 chances while posting a 1.56 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a truly elite 37/3 K-rate. Did you notice that he didn’t pitch from September 3rd through the 11 and then the 18th through the 26th? That’s only eight appearances in 28 days as the Brewers are clearly looking ahead to the playoffs.
HOLDS leads in September.
7 – Reynaldo Lopez, Colin Poche, Jason Foley, Carmen Mlodzinski
6 – Jeff Hoffman, Trevor Stephan, Matt Brash
SAVES leaders in September.
9 – David Bednar
7 – Clay Holmes, Tanner Scott, Emmanuel Clase, Pete Fairbanks
6 – Trevor may, Alex Lange, Ryan Helsley, Paul Sewald
2 – Alex Diaz
1 – Ryan Pressly
Elite arms that will not make their final start: Logan Webb, Feddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff.
High leverage relievers who have thrown two of the last three days: Yennier Cano, Bryan Shaw, Jose Leclerc, Aroldis Chapman, Raisel Iglesias, Andrew Nardi, Craig Kimbre, Matt Strahm, David Bednar, Justin Lawrence, Josh (I don’t pitch the 8th inning – ever) Nader.