Results tagged ‘ Mike Moustakas ’

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” Rankings Entering 2016

Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.

Beginning in 2014, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well. I continued that last year with the 2015 rankings.

I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. With January 21st came First Basemen and Starting Pitchers. On January 28th we’ll get Third Basemen and Left Fielders. February 4th and February 11th will reveal the remaining positions of Second Baseman, Right Fielders, Catchers, and Relief Pitchers.


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”

  1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
  3. Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
  4. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Jason Heyward – Chicago Cubs
  6. Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox
  7. Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays
  8. Randal Grichuk – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Carlos Gomez – Houston Astros
  10. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders is Eric Byrnes. On the CF show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of two of the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Cain, Pollock, Jones, Heyward, Gomez, Joc Pederson (LAD), Kiermaier, Eaton

Byrnes: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Cain, Jones, Jackie Bradley, Jr. (BOS), Heyward, Kiermaier, Kevin Pillar (TOR), Eaton

James: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Jones, Heyward, Cain, Kiermaier, Eaton, Charlie Blackmon (COL), Gomez

Gennaro: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Cain, Eaton, Heyward, Bradley Jr., Kiermaier, Jones, Grichuk


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”

  1. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
  2. Troy Tulowitzki – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
  4. Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
  5. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
  7. Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs
  8. Marcus Semien – Oakland Athletics
  9. Andrelton Simmons – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  10. Didi Gregorius – New York Yankees

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops is Bill Ripken. On the SS show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Correa, Crawford, Tulowitzki, Bogaerts, Simmons, Peralta, Corey Seager (LAD), Lindor, Erick Aybar (ATL), Gregorius

Ripken: Crawford,  Correa, Tulowitzki, Lindor, Russell, Bogaerts, Ian Desmond (free agent), Seager, Peralta, Simmons

James: Correa, Bogaerts, Tulowitzki, Lindor, Simmons, Andrus, Desmond, Crawford, Cabrera, Jose Reyes (COL)

Gennaro: Correa, Lindor, Crawford, Bogaerts, Simmons, Tulowitzki, Seager, Adienny Hechavarria (MIA), Russell, Peralta

Petriello: Correa, Crawford, Bogaerts, Lindor, Tulowitzki, Simmons, Seager, Russell, Peralta, Gregorius


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”

  1. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  4. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
  5. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
  7. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  9. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen is Carlos Peña. On the 1B show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Goldschmidt, Votto, Cabrera, Rizzo, Abreu, Encarnacion, Freeman, Gonzalez, Davis, Belt

Peña: Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Abreu, Rizzo, Encarnacion, Votto, Eric Hosmer (KC), Gonzalez, Davis, Albert Pujols (LAA)

James: Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Rizzo, Votto, Encarnacion, Davis, Freeman, Hosmer, Gonzalez, Abreu

Gennaro: Goldschmidt, Votto, Rizzo, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Davis, Freeman, Hosmer, Belt, Abreu

Petriello: Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Votto, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Davis, Abreu, Freeman, Gonzalez, Hosmer


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs
  3. Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. David Price – Boston Red Sox
  5. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
  6. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
  7. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
  8. Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
  9. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
  10. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
**Note: Jose Fernandez does not have enough innings pitched over the last two seasons to qualify for the Shredder’s list.

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers is John Smoltz. On the SP show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kershaw, Arrieta, Greinke, Sale, Scherzer, Keuchel, Jose Fernandez (MIA), Jacob deGrom (NYM), Wainwright, Matt Harvey (NYM)

Smoltz: Kershaw, Arrieta, Scherzer, Keuchel, Greinke, Price, Madison Bumgarner (SF), deGrom, Sale, Harvey

James: Kershaw, Greinke, Scherzer, Arrieta, Bumgarner, Price, Sale, Kluber, Jon Lester (CHC), Cole Hamels (TEX)

Gennaro: Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, Sale, Bumgarner, Fernandez, Gerrit Cole (PIT), Keuchel, Carlos Carrasco (CLE), Scherzer

Petriello: Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, Sale, Keuchel, Scherzer, deGrom, Price, Cole, Fernandez


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”

  1. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
  3. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  4. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
  5. Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
  7. Jung Ho Kang – Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
  10. Todd Frazier – Chicago White Sox

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen is Mike Lowell. On the 3B show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Donaldson, Bryant, Machado, Beltre, Arenado, Carpenter, Seager, Matt Duffy (SF), David Wright (NYM), Frazier

Lowell: Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Frazier, Beltre, Seager, Mike Moustakas (KC), Evan Longoria (TB)

Vince Gennaro (President of SABR): Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Frazier, Beltre, Duffy, Moustakas, Kang

Bill James: Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Seager, Longoria, Beltre, Frazier, Duffy

Mike Petriello: Donaldson, Machado, Arenado, Bryant, Carpenter, Beltre, Seager, Moustakas, Duffy, Longoria

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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”

  1. Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
  2. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Justin Upton – Detroit Tigers
  4. Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets
  5. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
  6. David Peralta – Arizona Diamondbacks
  7. Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins
  8. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays (traded from COL 1/28)
  10. Brett Gardner – New York Yankees

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders is Cliff Floyd. On the LF show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Marte, Gordon, Upton, Cespedes, Brantley, Holliday, Gardner, Peralta, Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Yelich

Floyd: Cespedes, Upton, Brantley, Marte, Gordon, Peralta, Schwarber, Khris Davis (MIL), Yelich, Gardner

James: Upton, Brantley, Cespedes, Marte, Peralta, Melky Cabrera (CHW), Gardner, Yelich, Gordon, Colby Rasmus (HOU)

Gennaro: Brantley, Gordon, Cespedes, Holliday, Peralta, Upton, Schwarber, Yelich, Marte, Gardner

Petriello: Cespedes, Gordon, Marte, Upton, Michael Conforto (NYM), Schwarber, Yelich, Brantley, Holliday, Peralta

Also, for what it’s worth, Brian Kenny said that Khris Davis “just, just missed” his Top 10.



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
  2. Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
  3. Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees
  4. Andrew Miller – New York Yankees
  5. Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
  6. Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Ken Giles – Houston Astros
  8. Tony Watson – Pittsburgh Pirates
  9. Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Craig Kimbrel – Boston Red Sox

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers is Dan Plesac. On the RP show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Davis, Betances, Chapman, Giles, Miller, Kimbrel, Melancon, Britton, Watson, O’Day

Plesac: Davis, Chapman, Betances, Miller, Jeurys Familia (NYM), Britton, Kimbrel, Melancon, Kenley Jansen (LAD), Trevor Rosenthal (STL)

James: Davis, Kimbrel, Chapman, Rosenthal, Melancon, Betances, Giles, Miller, Familia, Allen

Gennaro: Britton, Jansen, Miller, Chapman, Allen, Betances, O’Day, Giles, Davis, Familia

Petriello: Chapman, Davis, Jansen, Kimbrel, Britton, Miller, Betances, Allen, Familia, Melancon


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”

  1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
  2. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
  3. Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
  4. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
  5. Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Ben Zobrist – Chicago Cubs
  7. Neil Walker – New York Mets
  8. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  9. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
  10. Logan Forsythe – Tampa Bay Rays

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen is Harold Reynolds. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Cano, Altuve, Zobrist, Jason Kipnis (CLE), Kinsler, Walker, Gordon, Pedroia, Brian Dozier (MIN), Howie Kendrick (LAD)

Reynolds: Cano, Altuve, Kinsler, Pedroia, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Gordon, Dozier, Zobrist,  Rougned Odor (TEX), Walker

James: Altuve, Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler, Forsythe, Dozier, Gordon, Kipnis, Walker, Zobrist

Gennaro: Kipnis, Altuve, Panik, Kinsler, Gordon, Pedroia, Zobrist, D.J. LeMahieu (COL), Cano, Kolten Wong (STL)

Petriello: Altuve, Cano, Kipnis, Gordon, Zobrist, Kinsler, Pedroia, Panik, Walker, Odor



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”

  1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  2. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. JONATHAN LUCROY – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

  4. Francisco Cervelli – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Stephen Vogt – Oakland A’s
  6. Brian McCann – New York Yankees
  7. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  8. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  9. Derek Norris – San Diego Padres
  10. Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias.

Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers is Dave Valle. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Posey, Martin, LUCROY, Perez, Molina, Vogt, d’Arnaud, McCann, Cervelli, Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

Valle: Posey, Molina, Perez, Martin, LUCROY, Grandal, McCann, d’Arnaud, Jason Castro (HOU), Vogt

James: Posey, Perez, McCann, Martin, Molina, LUCROY, Miguel Montero (CHC), Norris, Vogt, Cervelli

Gennaro: Posey, Molina, Martin, Grandal, LUCROY, d’Arnaud, Cervelli, Montero, Vogt, Perez

Petriello: Posey, Martin, Grandal, Cervelli, McCann, Perez, Yan Gomes (CLE), Molina, LUCROY, d’Arnaud


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”

The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias.

Each episode will also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders is Eric Byrnes. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

  1. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
  2. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  3. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
  5. J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
  6. Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
  7. George Springer – Houston Astros
  8. Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
  9. Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins
  10. RYAN BRAUN – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Kenny: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Betts, Martinez, Sano, Springer, Hunter Pence (SF), Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)

Byrnes: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Martinez, Springer, Curtis Granderson (NYM), Betts, Pence, Cruz

James: Harper, Bautista, Stanton, Betts, Martinez, Cruz, BRAUN, Gonzalez, Kemp, Jay Bruce (CIN)

Gennaro: Harper, Bautista, Stanton, Cruz, Martinez, Granderson, Betts, Gonzalez, Springer, Pence

Petriello: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Cruz, Betts, Springer, Sano, Choo, Gonzalez, Martinez

Why I’m Rooting For the American League

Let’s get this out of the way at the top. Thank you, San Francisco Giants! Thank you, NLCS MVP Madison Bumgarner. Thank you, Hunter Pence. Thank you, Santiago Casilla. Thank you, Pablo Sandoval. Thank you, Yusmeiro Petit. Thank you (and congrats), Tim Hudson. Thank you even to Buster Posey.

Thank you, Michael Morse for tying that one game.

Thank you, Travis Ishikawa for walking the birds off the field.

I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today without the efforts and success of the San Francisco Giants. You can drop the #EvenYear hashtag on social media. You can thank a blossomed ace in Bumgarner. You can shower praise on Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff. It’s all deserved. It’s all warranted. “THE GIANTS (WON) THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS (WON) THE PENNANT!”

And as happy as I am today that the senior circuit representative in this year’s Fall Classic plays its home games outside the state of Missouri, my desire for Giant victories ended when that ball left Ishikawa’s bat.

So why am I rooting against them starting tonight? I like the Giants just fine. I like most of their players. Only Angel Pagan really gets my dander up, and he’ll miss this series with injury anyway. So this isn’t about the Giants.

As far as leagues go, I absolutely prefer the National League game to that of its younger brother. The Designated Hitter should be done away with (though I realize it never will be). The strategy and timing of the NL game makes for a beautiful, and sometimes sickening, dance where decisions feel like they loom larger. You can’t always just pitch a guy until he’s done. Maybe you have to lift a pitcher early because of a key offensive spot. Maybe you try to stretch a guy farther because his spot is due up next half inning. Et cetera. There is so much more that goes into it. It’s more interesting and more fun, in my ever so humble opinion.

I’m a stump for the NL way of life. My team plays in the National League, for what that’s worth.

So, again, I ask: Why am I rooting against the Giants?

Well, to be fair it’s about rooting for Kansas City more than it is about rooting against San Francisco.

Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Norichika Aoki. All former Brewers. All good guys who I enjoy watching succeed. But pulling for the Royals is deeper than just that connection. Doug Henry and Dale Sveum. Both former Brewers. Both members of KC’s coaching staff. I like that, and personally like Sveum as a coach, but certainly wouldn’t use that as a reason to cheer for one team over another. Ned? Not even a little bit.

So instead of continuing to tell you why I’m not rooting for them, even though they are fine reasons should you choose to use them, here’s why I am.

I look at the 2014 Kansas City Royals and I see the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers.

It’s not a perfect 1:1 on the field, of course, but the similarities even at that micro level are interesting. It’s more about how they go about their business on the field, the lights out bullpen, trading away young and controllable talent for a shot at the brass ring, the payoff of a long-term plan. You can take it one step farther and compare to 2008 in Milwaukee where the Brewers faltered down the stretch while trying to hold off other teams for the Wild Card. In 2008 there was only the one Wild Card spot available, but the Brewers held off the Mets to win it by just one game. In 2014, Kansas City got the home game by just one game over Oakland (who held off Seattle by just one game).

Kansas City rode years of awfulness to amass a bunch of young talent in their system. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon (drafted the same year as, and ahead of, Ryan Braun, by the way), Wil Myers, the list goes on. In fact, you could almost mark the 2005 draft which got the Brewers the final “homegrown” piece to their playoff runs in Braun as the start of the Royals turnaround. In that way, they’ve been a few years behind the Brewers’ blueprint. Get a bunch of young, talented guys in the system with a goal to hit the Majors at roughly the same time, supplement with free agents, and when the moment is right, make a big trade (or two) at the big league level by sending out minor leaguers to go for it.

Let’s break that down, in case you aren’t agreeing with me.

Milwaukee: Drafted Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy, Yovani Gallardo, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun. Traded away Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley (and more)) for CC Sabathia in 2008. Traded away Cain, Escobar, Jake Odorizzi (and more) for Zack Greinke in 2011. Traded Brett Lawrie for Shaun Marcum in 2011. Supplemented with veterans: 2011 -Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell, Jerry Hairston, Takashi Saito. 2008 – Gabe Kapler, Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Ray Durham, (ironically) Counsell.

Kansas City: Drafted Gordon, Hosmer, Moustakas, Billy Butler, Greg Holland. They scouted international amateurs like Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera, Yordano Ventura. Traded away Zack Greinke to acquire several young pieces. Flipped Odorizzi with Wil Myers to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis. Supplemented with veterans like Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Josh Willingham, and Jason Frasor.

I think I’ve made my point.

Their offensive games differ, to be sure, as the Brewers hit home runs at a great pace in 2011 and the Royals are more about speed and getting hits that raise the ol’ BABIP. But the rotations were similarly solid from top to bottom, but the real crux of what sent me down this comparison exercise are the late inning relievers.

2011 Brewers:

  • Closer: John Axford (1.95 ERA / 2.41 FIP / 46 saves / 1.140 WHIP / 10.5 K/9)
  • Setup man: Francisco Rodriguez (1.86 ERA / 2.23 FIP / 1.138 WHIP / 10.2 K/9)
  • “7th inning guy”: LaTroy Hawkins / Takashi Saito (Combined: 2.28 ERA / 1.200 WHIP / 6.1 K/9)
    • (the Brewers used two veterans so as to keep them fresh)

2014 Royals:

  • Closer: Greg Holland (1.44 ERA / 1.83 FIP / 46 saves / 0.914 WHIP / 13.0 K/9)
  • Setup man: Wade Davis (1.00 ERA / 1.19 FIP / 0.847 WHIP / 13.6 K/9)
  • “7th inning guy”: Kelvin Herrera (1.41 ERA / 2.69 FIP / 1.143 WHIP / 7.6 K/9)

Six inning games are easier to win than nine inning games. Both of these teams had/have that game-shortening bullpen that general managers are yearning to cobble together each and every off-season.

I won’t lie to you though. The former Brewers being on the Royals certainly helps me root for them. In fact, it led to a series of tweets (@BrewerNation) with commentary how the team with the most former Brewers on it was winning every series (and even every game for a while) in the 2014 Postseason.

Market size, payroll relative to MLB’s elite, a fan base desperate for a winner after more than 25 years of missing the playoffs, that their last pennant was won in the 1980’s — these are all comparisons between the two franchises that help me see them in such a similar light.

But when it comes down to it, when all the dust has settled, at the end of the day, when all the clichés have been dropped…

I’m rooting for the 2014 Kansas City Royals because I see the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers and what might have been.

The comparisons can stop there, though, because this Kansas City team won the two games which that Milwaukee team didn’t. The Royals won their pennant and now have a chance to win another World Series, while the Brewers still seek their first championship.

But if these Royals can get the job done, it offers renewed hope that my team can one day get back and accomplish the same.

And that’s worth rooting for more than anything.

MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now Heading Into 2013

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As I did last year, I’ll be keeping a running list of the Top 100 Players Right Now as they are revealed on MLB Network, eventually compiling the entire list.

They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Tuesday, February 26th. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.

As before I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. Last year there were six Brewers on the list. Rickie Weeks was 83, John Axford was 77, Yovani Gallardo was 72, Aramis Ramirez was 66, Zack Greinke was 64, and Ryan Braun was too low at number 9.

Based on what has been revealed, it would appear a safe bet that Rickie Weeks has fallen off of the list. And how about John Axford? Could he really be in the Top 40 or did he fall off too? I’m guessing he fell off despite his fantastic 2011 season.

Looks like the Brewers will only have three this year.

The criteria for the list remains the same:

  • Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2012
  • Projected 2013 performance
  • Defensive position
  • Accolades
  • Intangibles

Here now are the Top 100 Players as listed by MLB Network.

100. Ryan Howard – 1B – Philadelphia Phillies

99. Sergio Romo – CL – San Francisco Giants

98. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers

97. Elvis Andrus – SS – Texas Rangers

96. Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies

95. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers

94. Jacoby Ellsbury – OF – Boston Red Sox

93. Victor Martinez – C/DH – Detroit Tigers

92. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals

91. Michael Bourn – CF – Cleveland Indians

90. Aroldis Chapman – P – Cincinnati Reds

89. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

88. Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox

87. Mike Moustakas – 3B – Kansas City Royals

86. Brett Lawrie – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays

85. Michael Morse – 1B/LF – Seattle Mariners

84. Allen Craig – 1B – St. Louis Cardinals

83. Torii Hunter – RF – Detroit Tigers

82. Carlos Beltran – RF – St. Louis Cardinals

81. Carlos Ruiz – C – Philadelphia Phillies

80. Brian McCann – C – Atlanta Braves

79. Miguel Montero – C- Arizona Diamondbacks

78. Curtis Granderson – CF – New York Yankees

77. Jim Johnson – CL – Baltimore Orioles

76. Jason Motte – CL – St. Louis Cardinals

75. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals

74. Chase Headley – 3B – San Diego Padres

73. Adam LaRoche – 1B – Washington Nationals

72. Yovani Gallardo – SP – Milwaukee Brewers

71. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants

70. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals

69. B.J. Upton – CF – Atlanta Braves

68. James Shields – SP – Kansas City Royals

67. David Freese – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals

66. J.J. Hardy – SS – Baltimore Orioles

65. Kyle Lohse – SP – (FREE AGENT)

64. Wade Miley – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks

63. Johnny Cueto – SP – Cincinnati Reds

62. Jonathan Papelbon – CL – Philadelphia Phillies

61. Mariano Rivera – CL – New York Yankees

60. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox

59. Jason Heyward – RF – Atlanta Braves

58. Austin Jackson – CF – Detroit Tigers

57. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

56. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox

55. Billy Butler – DH – Kansas City Royals

54. Bryce Harper – LF – Washington Nationals

53. Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees

52. Starlin Castro – SS – Chicago Cubs

51. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies

50. R.A. Dickey – SP – Toronto Blue Jays

49. Gio Gonzalez – SP – Washington Nationals

48. Matt Wieters – C – Baltimore Orioles

47. A.J. Pierzynski – C- Texas Rangers

46. Roy Halladay – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

45. Matt Cain – SP – San Francisco Giants

44. Pablo Sandoval – 3B – San Francisco Giants

43. Josh Willingham – LF – Minnesota Twins

42. Yoenis Cespedes – LF – Oakland Athletics

41. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals

40. Ian Kinsler – 2B – Texas Rangers

39. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays

38. Joe Mauer – C – Minnesota Twins

37. Jered Weaver – SP – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

36. Jay Bruce – RF – Cincinnati Reds

35. Justin Upton – LF – Atlanta Braves

34. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox

33. Paul Konerko – 1B – Chicago White Sox

32. Aramis Ramirez – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers

31. Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati Reds

30. Carlos Gonzalez – LF – Colorado Rockies

29. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – Washington Nationals

28. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays

27. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves

26. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals

25. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays

24. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals

23. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles

22. David Wright – 3B – New York Mets

21. Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants

20. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

19. Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

18. CC Sabathia – SP – New York Yankees

17. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates

16. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays

15. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins

14. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

13. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers

12. David Price – SP – Tampa Bay Rays

11. Prince Fielder – 1B – Detroit Tigers

10. Josh Hamilton – RF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

9. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds

8. Robinson Cano – 2B – New York Yankees

7. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners

6. Ryan Braun – LF – Milwaukee Brewers

5. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

4. Matt Kemp – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers

3. Miguel Cabrera – 3B – Detroit Tigers

2. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers

1. Mike Trout – LF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Totals by team:

  • Philadelphia Phillies – 7
  • St. Louis Cardinals – 7
  • Washington Nationals – 7
  • Detroit Tigers – 6
  • Atlanta Braves – 5
  • Cincinnati Reds – 5
  • New York Yankees – 5
  • San Francisco Giants – 5
  • Texas Rangers – 5
  • Toronto Blue Jays – 5
  • Baltimore Orioles – 4
  • Boston Red Sox – 4
  • Kansas City Royals – 4
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 4
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – 4
  • Milwaukee Brewers – 3
  • Arizona Diamondbacks – 2
  • Chicago White Sox – 2
  • Colorado Rockies – 2
  • Minnesota Twins – 2
  • Seattle Mariners – 2
  • Tampa Bay Rays – 2
  • Cleveland Indians – 1
  • New York Mets – 1
  • Chicago Cubs – 1
  • Oakland Athletics – 1
  • Miami Marlins – 1
  • Pittsburgh Pirates – 1
  • San Diego Padres – 1
  • Kyle Lohse – 1

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