San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 4

Buster Posey is the NL Rookie of the Year

33 Comments

The BBWAA has released the results, and Buster Posey is the National League Rookie of the Year.

As expected, Posey and Heyward were number one and number two. Following them on the ballot were Jaime Garcia, Gaby Sanchez, and Neil Walker, respectively. Starlin Castro was sixth. I was rather surprised to see anyone get first place votes besides Posey and Heyward, but Garcia got one and Sanchez got two. I was also surprised to see the BBWAA website spell Jason Heyward’s name incorrectly — they went with “Hayward” —  but I suppose I’m the last one who can get on anyone about typos.

Posey put up a .305/.357/.505 line  18 homers, 23 doubles and 67 RBI while playing excellent defense at catcher. Heyward’s line was .277/.393/.456, with 18 homers, 29 doubles and 72 RBI. While not nearly as valuable defensively as the catcher Posey, Heyward was solid in right field himself.

The biggest difference, of course, was playing time, with Heyward began the season on the big club while Posey, in contrast, cooled his heels in Fresno for nearly two months, making his 2010 debut on May 29th.  The voters obviously felt that the 77 plate appearance difference between the two was not large enough to be the determining factor.

Like I said yesterday: neither Heyward nor Posey could complain about coming in second to the other.  Either would have been a fabulous choice. As it stands, that choice is Buster Posey.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
4 Comments

Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
2 Comments

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.