In the spirit of the 30th Summer Olympiad, I decided to spice up the power rankings a little bit this week. Instead of the normal summaries I throw at you every week, I’m going to give you the gold medal, silver medal, and bronze medal player(s) for each team. The teams at the top will surely have plenty of Michael Phelps-like performers, while the medal winners for the bottom feeders will be those countries you hear during the opening ceremonies that you’re sure don’t exist (I’m talking to you, Vanuatu). Let’s light the torch and let the 16th edition of the power rankings begin!
Gold: Joey Votto (.342/.465/.604) – Say what you want about the Reds success without him thus far (14-3 since the break), but it’s also helped that aside from St. Louis, they’ve been feasting on the bottom feeders of the NL. When he left with his meniscus injury, he was the leader in the MVP race and I don’t his performance to diminish when he returns.
Silver: Johnny Cueto (2.52 ERA/1.20 WHIP/7.1 K/9) – Cueto, despite his All-Star snub, has been a lights out ace for a Reds team in desperate need of a starting pitcher. And he really isn’t getting lucky either. His .312 BaBIP (batting average on balls in play) is actually .20 points above his career mark of .292, which would suggest that there’s even more room for improvement.
Bronze: Aroldis Chapman (1.34 ERA/0.70 WHIP/16.8 K/9) – Aroldis has been far and away the most dominant closer in baseball this season. When his fastball is dialed up to 100+ with pinpoint control, good luck hitting him.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Milwaukee 3, at CHI Cubs 4)
Gold: Robinson Cano (.314/.372/.564) – After a rough start in the first month of the season (batting .267), Cano has proceeded to be the best second baseman in the game yet again. His 4.7 WAR is second among all position players in the AL and will continue to rise as his above par play continues.
Silver: Rafael Soriano (1.88 ERA/1.23 WHIP/9.2 K/9) – For all of the gloom and doom talk when Mariano Rivera was knocked out for the season (I was included in that), Soriano has made it seem like he never left. Converting on 26 of his 28 safe situations this season, Soriano has been lights out and exactly what the Yankees needed after losing their mainstay at the end of the bullpen.
Bronze: Derek Jeter (.314/.358/.415) – Even at 38 years old, when many thought he would fall off of a cliff a bit, Jeter has produced at a high level. He may not be earning the 15.5 million he’s pulling in this season, but he’s put to bed any notion that he’s close to the end of his rope.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Detroit 4, at Toronto 3)
Gold: Stephen Strasburg (2.97 ERA/1.13 WHIP/11.3 K/9) – He has the best stuff in baseball and is making hitters look silly at the dish. I still don’t agree with the innings limit placed upon him, but nonetheless, he’s been the ace of the best rotation in the National League.
Silver: Bryce Harper (.260/.333/.425) – A quick glance at the numbers suggests that he’s been a league average outfielder and not a huge difference maker. But the numbers aren’t what matter with him. He’s 19 years old. He’ll have plenty of time to put up stats. What matters with him is the competitive, win at any cost attitude he brought to the Nats.
Bronze: Gio Gonzalez (3.34 ERA/1.13 WHIP/10 K/9) – He was part of one of the few trades that worked out for everyone. He’s been a fantastic number two/three pitcher in Washington’s staff, while Oakland received a future starting catcher (Derek Norris) and a good mid-rotation guy (Tommy Milone).
(Upcoming Schedule: at Houston 4, at Arizona 3)
Hit the jump for the rest of Christian’s power rankings…
Gold: Matt Harrison (3.17 ERA/1.27 WHIP/5.3 K/9) – He may not be the best player on the team, but he’s excelling at a time when the Rangers are absolutely desperate for arms. And this great year isn’t just due to luck. His BaBIP of .289 is only .09 points higher than his career mark of .298, so this is no fluke. If the Rangers remain quiet on the trade front through August, he will be the definitive ace of the rotation entering the postseason.
Silver: Adrian Beltre (.311/.349/.500) – Fifteen years into his career and he’s still doing work. Through the inconsistencies of Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Napoli, Beltre has been a stabilizing force in the Rangers lineup. And he backs up his offense with gold-glove winning defense year in and year out. I don’t know what other teams were thinking when they passed on him in free agency two years ago.
Bronze: Yu Darvish (4.38 ERA/1.41 WHIP/ 10.2 K/9) – Has he been the ace many thought he would be? Nope. But has he been what the Rangers needed? Absolutely. He’s provided a steady presence in the rotation, joining Harrison as the only other starter on the Opening Day roster who’s been healthy all season. It also helps that he can miss bats at an accelerated rate.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Boston 3, Detroit 3)
Gold: Michael Bourn (.286/.343/.416) – To me, Michael Bourn is the ideal center fielder. He has blazing speed (28 steals), a good glove, and can hit for average. That’s all you could ever ask for out of that spot. It also helps that he’s added some power to his game absent in previous seasons (career high eight homers). He was one of the best pickups at the deadline last year and has continued to show his worth this year.
Silver: Craig Kimbrel (1.29 ERA/0.66 WHIP/15.6 K/9) – The only reason people aren’t raving about Kimbrel like they are Chapman is because Kimbrel did this last season. He’s continued his lights out performances this season, converting 30 saves in 32 opportunities. He’s provided some consistency to the back end of the bullpen that was lacking in years past.
Bronze: Jason Heyward (.270/.347/.475) – So maybe he isn’t the bust that everyone thought he would be at the end of last season? Heyward has shown his potential this season, showing Atlanta fans that he is a long term answer in the corner of the outfield. And he’s found a new gear in his game this season. His speed has been on full display as he’s amassed a career high 15 steals.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Philadelphia 3, at NY Mets 3)
Gold: Chris Sale (2.61 ERA/1.02 WHIP/8.3 K/9) – This wunderkind was debuted as a reliever the last two seasons, given a starting job at the beginning of the season, put in the bullpen for a week, and then brought right back out as a starter in what seems like his last position change. Sale has been nasty this year and the ace of a six-man Chicago rotation. If he can stay healthy with his deceptive arm motion, AL opponents will be whiffing quite often the next few years.
Silver: Paul Konerko (.320/.393/.504) – Paul Konerko is consistently the most underrated player in baseball. Year after year, people talked about the Votto, Pujols, Cabrera, Gonzalez, and Fielder (along with a few others) as the best first baseman in the game. And year after year, they forget about Konerko. The man’s been to six all-star games and has had an OPS above .800 for 12 of the past 14 years. He’s good and it’s about time people started noticing.
Bronze: Jake Peavy (3.04 ERA/1.04 WHIP/8.1 K/9) – Peavy has used this season to turn around what appeared to be a waning career. Injuries hampered him for much of his career, but he’s found a way to stay healthy this season and we’re starting to see glimpses of the Cy Young winner of his Padres’ days. As mentioned with Sale, the six man rotation will go a long way to keep the stress on his arm low and keep him fresh for a playoff run.
(Upcoming Schedule: Kansas City 3, Oakland 3)
Gold: Yoenis Cespedes (.306/.366/.523) – Early in the season, he looked to be a guy who would chase a ton of pitches and crush what few pitches he made contact with. I was proven wrong. Billy Beane looks like the smartest guy in the room for offering a four year/ $36 million dollar deal because at the rate he’s producing, he’ll be underpaid for the next three years. His power is incredible and the difference he makes in their lineup is irreplaceable. He’d be an ROY candidate if it wasn’t for Trout.
Silver: Jarrod Parker (3.44 ERA/1.28 WHIP/7.04 K/9) – Parker has been the ace of the surprising Oakland staff that has continued to get the job done in their hunt for a wild card spot. While July wasn’t exactly kind to him (5.34 ERA), he’s been an extreme surprise and should pay dividends for Oakland not only this year, but into the future as well.
Bronze: Josh Reddick (.261/.333/.516) – Once again, I praise Billy Beane and all his Moneyball-ness. He spun a closer who hasn’t pitched one game this season into a 24 homer guy who can rake in the middle of the lineup. Reddick carried the offense early in the year and now is doing a nice job complementing the power of Cespedes.
(Upcoming Schedule: LA Angels 3, at CHI Sox 3)
Gold: Andrew McCutchen (.368/.429/.627) – What can I say about Cutch that I haven’t said in the past fifteen or so power rankings? The guy is the NL MVP and I am in awe whenever I have the opportunity to watch him.
Silver: A.J. Burnett (3.19 ERA/1.15 WHIP/7.4 K/9) – If you asked me what pitcher would turn his career around this season, my first answer would have been A.J. Burnett. Low and behold, he’s become the ace of a rotation that is in contention for a playoff spot. The spotlight has been turned down as he’s escaped the pressure cooker that is New York and can finally relax in the friendly small market of Pittsburgh. Had he not missed the first month, he’d be a legitimate Cy Young candidate.
Bronze: Jason Grilli (1.82 ERA/1.03 WHIP/14.1 K/9)- I guess A.J. wasn’t the only guy who needed a change of scenery. His past two years in Pittsburgh has done wonders for his career as his previous stops weren’t so impressive. His career 4.30 ERA and .267 BaBIP suggests that these seasons are an aberration, but I gotta give credit where credit is due. Grilli has been a lockdown bullpen option and he should be celebrated for it, even if Jim Leyland doesn’t like him.
(Upcoming Schedule: Arizona 4, San Diego 3)
Gold: Melky Cabrera (.352/.397/.530) – The person who predicted this season by Melky Cabrera should probably spend some time in Vegas, this performance has come out of nowhere. Melky earned a spot as an All-Star starter and leads the league in hits along with runs. He’s provided a spark to a Giants offense that sat dormant last season. His addition, along with Posey’s return, has turned this team around big time.
Silver: Matt Cain (2.82 ERA/1.00 WHIP/8.3 K/9) – Cain, in my opinion, is the best all around pitcher in the NL. He may not have the stuff that Strasburg does, but it’s pretty darn good. Combine that with his control and durability (31 starts every year since 2006), and you have a guy who has truly grown into a complete pitcher. The Giants were the smartest team in the room when they opted to ink Cain to a long term deal ahead of Tim Lincecum, who is having a less than fantastic season.
Bronze: Buster Posey (.327/.394/.528) – After his catastrophic injury that influenced managers across baseball to be more cautious with their catchers, Posey has returned to his 2010 form. He’s ranked within the top five of almost every offensive category among catchers and is calling great games for one of baseball’s best staffs. Catcher is a hard spot to find a guy who can play both defense and swing the bat, but the Giants found a gem in Posey.
(Upcoming Schedule: at St. Louis 4, Colorado 3)
Gold: Mike Trout (.346/.407/.597) – What more needs to be said about this kid that hasn’t been said already? He’s provided a spark to an otherwise dormant giant and turned them into a contender, while he is the far and away leader for the MVP. Any questions?
Silver: Jered Weaver (2.29 ERA/0.95 WHIP/ 6.8 K/9) – Another guy who doesn’t need much of an introduction. Weaver actually missed more than half a month, and yet still, he has 13 wins and a league leading ERA. He’s the bonafide ace of this rotation and a guy I can’t wait to see pitch in the playoffs this year.
Bronze: Mark Trumbo (.293/.350/.578) – With an average of 418 feet per home run, I’d say his power is pretty darn good. In fact every 12.9 at bats, he hits a home run. The Angels may not have gotten what they paid for in Pujols, but Trumbo has picked up the slack in the form of power and has an average I never thought I’d see out of a free swinger like him.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Oakland 3, Seattle 3)
Gold: Matt Kemp (.351/.421/.649) – I don’t care that he’s missed a good deal of the season to a nagging hamstring injury. When he’s healthy, Kemp is arguably the best all-around player in the National League, except for maybe Ryan Braun, but it’s a good debate. Kemp, like a Mike Trout or Braun, is a five tool guy and is the main reason the Dodgers thrust themselves back into the NL West title hunt.
Silver: Clayton Kershaw (2.88 ERA/1.04 WHIP/8.6 K/9) – His numbers may not be identical to last year’s Cy Young campaign, but they’re pretty darn close. His ERA, WHIP, and strikeout numbers are amongst the top ten of the National League and he has once again anchored a staff that doesn’t have much beyond him (Capuano has faded of late and don’t blame me if I can’t put my faith in Aaron Harang).
Bronze: Andre Ethier (.287/.356/.465) – There was a point during this season that Ethier was the only notable player in the Dodgers starting nine and that kept the team afloat long enough for the return of Kemp. Of course now, the Dodgers have acquired every available player not named Ryan Dempster and have a lineup that looks like that of a playoff contender. But when this team needed a lift in May (.366 BA), Ethier provided it.
(Upcoming Schedule: Colorado 3, at Miami 3)
Gold: Austin Jackson (.322/.409/.518) – In my opinion, the MVP of this baseball team. Had he not missed a significant stretch of games in April and May, we could be talking about an MVP candidate for the American League. He can hit, run, and field with the best of them and his 4.1 WAR in early August explains that quite nicely. He brought the Tigers back yesterday with four hits, including two triples and a clutch RBI double that sparked a comeback in the bottom of the ninth. He makes that Curtis Granderson trade look better every single day.
Silver: Miguel Cabrera (.325/.387/.579) – There may be better all-around players, but in my humble opinion, Miguel Cabrera is the best pure hitter in baseball. He can put the ball wherever he wants, depending on the situation. He has the power of a Josh Hamilton with the average of Mike Trout. Cabby can truly do it all with the bat in his hand. If it wasn’t for Trout, he’d be the leader of the MVP race.
Bronze: Justin Verlander (2.63 ERA/0.97 WHIP/8.5 K/9) – Compared to last season, Verlander’s performance has actually slipped a bit. When you have an MVP/Cy Young season, that’ll tend to happen. But his performance is nothing to be disappointed with. He’s still been one of the best pitchers in the American League and a stopper in the Detroit rotation. For that month period when the Tigers were without Fister and dealing with the inconsistencies of Scherzer and Porcello, JV was there to provide hope to Tiger fans.
(Upcoming Schedule: NY Yankees 4, at Texas 3)
Gold: David Price (2.49 ERA/1.12 WHIP/8.9 K/9) – As often happens in the AL East, a good story not happening in New York or Boston is under reported. Such is the case with the season David Price is having. Price’s performance this year should garner his Cy Young consideration and his 14-4 mark, though generally unimportant when evaluating pitchers, is respectable considering the offense in Tampa Bay.
Silver: Fernando Rodney (0.71 ERA/0.77 WHIP/8.9 K/9) – I remember lamenting the day Fernando Rodney left the Tigers for a big contract with the Angels. I remember knowing that he was great, but only great in one role. I remember him flopping out of LA as a set up man and signing a deal with the Rays. I remember hearing he got the closer’s job in Tampa and I knew he’d do well. Low and behold, Rodney’s become the best closer in baseball. If he’s not closing or it’s a non-save situation, he’s garbage, but when you have him in that moment, he’ll get the job done for your team almost every time, sideways cap and all.
Bronze: Matt Joyce (.270/.373/.475) – Matt Joyce hasn’t been spectacular this season, but he’s been the best position player the Rays have had. Once Evan Longoria returns, which could be as soon as this week, that may change. But until then, Matt Joyce has been the most consistent bat in a usually dormant lineup that could feature anyone from Elliot Johnson to Jose Molina batting clean up.
(Upcoming Schedule: Toronto 3, at Minnesota 3)
Gold: Carlos Beltran (.286/.357/.537) – Carlos Beltran has to be one of the more underrated free agent signings of the offseason. He flew under the radar as Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, and Prince Fielder signed monster deals and has meant just as much to the team who signed him. He’s been one of the more consistent outfielders of the past decade and he’s still doing his part at the advanced baseball age of 35.
Silver: Lance Lynn (3.40 ERA/1.26 WHIP/9 K/9) – Lynn was pushed into becoming a starter after Chris Carpenter suffered his yearly miss-five-months-of-the-season injury and has filled the spot quite admirably. Though his production his dipped off a bit in the second half, Lynn is much of the reason that the Cards sport the best run differential in the NL. They’ll need his pitching to be top-notch if they want a chance at the playoffs.
Bronze: Allen Craig (.295/.359/.551) – Coming off of an incredible playoff run that saw him nearly become the World Series MVP (him and Freese were both deserving), Craig has quietly becoming one of the more imposing hitters in the NL Central. As you can see from the slugging percentage, Craig can mash the ball. And when he’s given the opportunity to play (logjams in the outfield and first base), he doesn’t disappoint. Don’t be surprised if he’s a household name in a year or two.
(Upcoming Schedule: San Francisco 4, at Philadelphia 3)
Gold: Adam Jones (.291/.336/.531) – Jones has finally come into his own this season, becoming the star center fielder Baltimore was hoping for when they traded Erik Bedard. He’s another guy who has five-tool potential and is much of the reason the O’s find themselves in the wild card hunt today. And he also gets bonus points with me for wearing high socks, which is still the best look in baseball.
Silver: Jason Hammel (3.54 ERA/1.24 WHIP/8.7 K/9) – To think, Colorado traded away him and a solid bullpen arm (Matt Lindstrom) for four months of Jeremy Guthrie and two months of Jonathan Sanchez. Hammel looks to be the ace of the Baltimore rotation for years to come and will help their playoff chances once he returns from injury.
Bronze: Matt Wieters (.242/.320/.403) – I know the stats don’t look great, but Wieters game is more than just his bat. He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. If you don’t agree, check out his 2011 Gold Glove, two All-Star Game appearances, 33% caught stealing percentage, and the third best defensive WAR in the AL in 2011. The guy just needs to improve his bat and he’ll be the catcher Baltimore expected him to be.
(Upcoming Schedule: Seattle 3, Kansas City 4)
Gold: Jason Kubel (.283/.357/.552) – Kubel is another underrated free agency signing who is putting up numbers that highly exceed the $8 million dollar salary he is owed for the next two seasons.
Silver: Wade Miley (2.98 ERA/1.08 WHIP/6.8 K/9) – His pitching has caught the National League off guard, as prospects like Trevor Bauer and Patrick Corbin were the guys who scouts expected to wow at the next level. Miley has put himself in a good spot to compete for the rookie of the year honor.
Bronze: Paul Goldschmidt (.300/.365/.541) – With Justin Upton and Miguel Montero unable to replicate banner years in 2012, Goldschmidt has stepped up and provided a good pop to the heart of the D-Backs order and is a big reason for their turnaround.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Pittsburgh 4, Washington 3)
Gold: David Ortiz (.316/.414/.609) – Ortiz has carried the load left by a struggling Adrian Gonzalez and an injured Dustin Pedroia by putting up ungodly numbers until he caught the injury bug a couple weeks ago.
Silver: Alfredo Aceves (4.29 ERA/1.20 WHIP/ 7.9 K/9) – He started off the season pretty terribly, but he has rebounded in the later half of the season, converting 18 of his past 22 save opportunities.
Bronze: Cody Ross (.268/.338/.514) – Cody Ross has a bat that thrives in a park like Fenway and has provided some much needed consistency to a shaky Boston outfield.
(Upcoming Schedule: Texas 3, at Cleveland 4)
Gold: Jose Bautista (.244/.360/.534) – When he’s on, he’s the best power hitter in all of baseball. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, he was only on for about two months and then he got hurt. Injuries have been cruel to our neighbors up north this season.
Silver: Edwin Encarnacion (.292/.389/.574) – If he was putting up those numbers for a contender, he’d be one of the most popular players in baseball right now. But because of a boatload of injuries, the Jays are relegated to the second tier of baseball fan’s attention span, as is Edwin.
Bronze: Brett Lawrie (.282/.326/.416) – Lawrie is a five-tool player who will be one of the better third baseman of the next decade if he can stay healthy. His combo of speed, power, and glove work make him a fantastic addition to the Jays infield.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Tampa Bay 3, NY Yankees 3)
Gold: David Wright (.325/.420/.541) – Wright has done everything right for the Mets this season and it’s a shame that he hasn’t found his way onto a championship team. His work ethic and passion are very hard to match.
Silver: R.A. Dickey (2.82 ERA/1.03 WHIP/9.2 K/9) – The knuckle-baller has won over the hearts and minds of baseball fans everywhere. His mastery of the pitch is second to none among active players.
Bronze: Johan Santana (3.98 ERA/1.26 WHIP/8.5 K/9) – He threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, which pretty much guaranteed him a spot in my top three.
(Upcoming Schedule: Miami 3, Atlanta 3)
Gold: Felix Hernandez (2.63 ERA/1.11 WHIP/8.7 K/9) – King Felix has pitched like a king recently. I just find it unfortunate that all of these great starts are essentially meaningless on a hot, but hopeless Mariners team.
Silver: Tom Wilhelmsen (2.47 ERA/1.09 WHIP/10.5 K/9) – Wilhelmsen has proved to be the closer of the future in Seattle, replacing Brandon League quite well.
Bronze: Kyle Seager (.246/.312/.399) – In glimpses I’ve seen this season, Seager has the potential to be one of the better corner infielders in the AL. He just needs to find some consistency.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Baltimore 3, at LA Angels 3)
Gold: Ryan Braun (.311/.393/.598) – Braun is actually on pace to eclipse the numbers he put up in his 2011 MVP campaign. But with the whole PED thing from last year, I think a repeat is in serious doubt.
Silver: Zack Grienke (3.61 ERA/1.22 WHIP/8.8 K/9) – Now a member of the Angels, Grienke provided Milwaukee with an ace that was a guaranteed winner at home (undefeated this season in Milwaukee).
Bronze: Aramis Ramirez (.291/.353/.500) – Though he got off to a slow start, Aramis has come into his own in Milwaukee and has been a solid number four hitter behind Braun.
(Upcoming Schedule: Cincinnati 3, at Houston 3)
Gold: Justin Ruggiano (.340/.404/.625) – Ruggiano has been a pleasant surprise for a team that has not had a single player perform above their potential, with the exception of Giancarlo Stanton.
Silver: Mark Buehrle (3.70 ERA/1.22 WHIP/5.3 K/9) – Mark gets this spot because he’s been about the only pitcher in their rotation who has showed an ounce of consistency.
Bronze: Giancarlo Stanton (.284/.364/.554) – Stanton has the power to split a ball into a thousand pieces when he makes contact. The guy can straight out rake when he’s healthy.
(Upcoming Schedule: at NY Mets 3, LA Dodgers 3)
Gold: Jason Kipnis (.262/.333/.391) – His stats have dropped off of a cliff in the second half, but he’s the only Indian who looks like he hasn’t given up on their season.
Silver: Shin-Soo Choo (.288/.373/.479) – Choo has been a valuable asset to the Tribe for the past five years and would have been a good piece to move as a rebuilding process needs to happen in Cleveland.
Bronze: Chris Perez (3.83 ERA/1.12 WHIP/10.1 K/9) – I love this guy not only for how he pitches off the field, but what he says off the field. A truly colorful guy and a reporters best friend.
(Upcoming Schedule: Minnesota 3, Boston 4)
Gold: Edison Volquez (3.73 ERA/1.36 WHIP/8.3 K/9) – Volquez has had his career rejuvenated after his trade from the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark to the spacious pitcher’s paradise of Petco Field.
Silver: Chase Headley (.271/.369/.440) – Headley proved to be valuable enough to the Padres that they held onto him at the trade deadline, despite interest from a dozen teams.
Bronze: Carlos Quentin (.266/.382/.511) – Despite the trade rumors, the Pads decided to extend the power hitting righty who hails from the San Diego area.
(Upcoming Schedule: CHI Cubs 3, at Pittsburgh 3)
Gold: Joe Mauer (.317/.413/.437) – Mauer has continued to be the All-Star he was before he signed his monstrous eight year deal to stay a Twin for life.
Silver: Josh Willingham (.263/.378/.932) – The Twins were dumb not to move Willingham at the deadline, as the value for the aging slugger has never been higher. Hopefully for the Twins’ sake, they move him in the winter.
Bronze: Denard Span (.288/.352/.391) – Span is a great center fielder and could get the Twins a pretty big haul if they move him in the winter to an outfield-needy team.
(Upcoming Schedule: at Cleveland 3, Tampa Bay 3)
Gold: Carlos Ruiz (.335/.399/.559) – Ruiz has been the only pleasant surprise in a season full of disappointment in Philadelphia.
Silver: Cliff Lee (3.78 ERA/1.17 WHIP/8.4 K/9) – It would have been wise to move the aging pitcher before the deadline as his salary skyrockets to $25 million over the next three seasons.
Bronze: Jonathan Papelbon (3.00 ERA/1.13 WHIP/11.2 K/9) – I don’t think this was the situation Paps expected when he signed on with the Phillies. At least that contract will make him a very happy man.
(Upcoming Schedule: Atlanta 3, St. Louis 3)
Gold: Ryan Dempster (2.82 ERA/1.1o WHIP/7.4 K/9) – Now a member of the Rangers, I feel like Dempster is going to regret turning down a deal to the Braves after his first eight run outing in that bandbox in Texas.
Silver: Paul Maholm (3.86 ERA/1.14 WHIP/10.3 K/9) – The Cubs turned what they signed as a back end starter into a high level prospect in Randal Delgado. Now that’s a good return.
Bronze: Alfonso Soriano (.270/.319/.493) – Soriano has been a pleasant surprise to the Cubs front office, who should hope to move him to LA (the only place he’ll accept a deal as a result of his 10-5 rights) within the month.
(Upcoming Schedule: at San Diego 3, Cincinnati 4)
Gold: Billy Butler (.300/.370/.490) – Quietly tucked away in Kansas City, Butler has been a valuable asset who can do it all with his bat.
Silver: Jonathan Broxton (2.11 ERA/1.33 WHIP/6.1 K/9) – He’s been traded away to Cincinnati, but Broxton was surprisingly effective replacing the injured Joaquin Soria.
Bronze: Alex Gordon (.291/.372/.434) – He isn’t having the incredible season he had last year, but he’s put up respectable numbers and is pretty consistent in the field.
(Upcoming Schedule: at CHI Sox 3, at Baltimore 4)
Gold: Carlos Gonzalez (.327/.392/.569) – He’s one of the best players in baseball and he’s stuck on this piece of crap. Cargo, Tulowitzki, and Felix Hernandez need therapy.
Silver: Dexter Fowler (.290/.380/.503) – His improvement is the only bright spot in this disaster of a season in Colorado.
Bronze: Tyler Colvin (.280/.318/.556) – I don’t think he’s even that good, but Coors Field will do a lot to help out a struggling youngster with a good bit of potential.
(Upcoming Schedule: at LA Dodgers 3, at San Francisco 3)
Gold: Jose Altuve (.298/.349/.417) – The diminutive little second baseman looks to be one of the few major league talents on this disaster of a baseball team.
Silver: Jed Lowrie (.253/.343/.456) – Houston received a great return in a trade of Mark Melancon, as they have likely found an infielder of the future.
Bronze: Wilton Lopez (2.48 ERA/1.02 WHIP/7 K/9) – As you can see, I’m stretching on this one.
(Upcoming Schedule: Washington 4, Milwaukee 3)