Jose Bautista

Leaderboards vs. the projections: the hitters


For those who may not know, I do a big set of projections every year over on Rotoworld, and while I’ll be doing an in-depth review of those over on that site in the next few weeks, I thought it’d be fun here to take a look at how the leaderboards compared to my picks.

I’ll be listing each player with their actual total and then where I had them ranked and projected.

Batting average
1. Miguel Cabrera: .344 (5th, .315)
2. Adrian Gonzalez: .338 (13th, .308)
3. Michael Young: .338 (40th, .291)
4. Jose Reyes: .337 (44th, .290)
5. Ryan Braun: .332 (11th, .310)
6. Victor Martinez: .330 (24th, .297)
7. Matt Kemp: .324 (42nd, .290)
8. Jacoby Ellsbury: .321 (31st, .294)
9. Hunter Pence: .314 (38th, .292)
10. Joey Votto: .309 (30th, .296)

There were no huge surprises in the top 10; I projected everyone here to hit .290 or better. No. 11, on the other hand, was a big shock; David Ortiz came in just behind Votto at .309. I had him projected to hit .261.

None of my top four choices finished in the top 10. Those were Joe Mauer (.323), Albert Pujols (.322), Hanley Ramirez (.317) and Ichiro Suzuki (.316).

Home runs
1. Jose Bautista: 43 (6th, 37)
2. Curtis Granderson: 41 (24th, 29)
3. Matt Kemp: 39 (15th, 31)
3. Mark Teixeira: 39 (6th, 37)
5. Prince Fielder: 38 (3rd, 39)
6. Albert Pujols: 37 (1st, 40)
6. Mark Reynolds: 37 (10th, 36)
8. Dan Uggla: 36 (13th, 32)
9. Mike Stanton: 34 (6th, 37)
10. Ryan Braun: 33 (12th, 33)
10. Ryan Howard: 33 (3rd, 39)

Granderson going from 24 homers in his first year with the Yankees to 41 this season was the big upset on the home run leaderboard. I had Kemp building on his total of 28 homers from last year, but I couldn’t project that much of a breakout.

My projected leaderboard had Pujols and Adam Dunn at 40, followed by Cabrera, Fielder and Howard one behind. Dunn, of course, ended up with 11 homers. Cabrera, although he was the AL’s second best hitter behind Bautista, dropped from 38 homers in 2010 to 30 this year.

1. Matt Kemp: 126 (20th, 99)
2. Prince Fielder: 120 (3rd, 118)
3. Curtis Granderson: 119 (72nd, 80)
4. Robinson Cano: 118 (10th, 113)
5. Adrian Gonzalez: 117 (6th, 116)
6. Ryan Howard: 116 (1st, 120)
7. Ryan Braun: 111 (12th, 107)
7. Mark Teixeira: 111 (3rd, 118)
9. Michael Young: 106 (53rd, 86)
10. Adrian Beltre: 105 (21st, 98)
10. Miguel Cabrera: 105 (5th, 117)
10. Jacoby Ellsbury: 105 (181st, 56)
10. Paul Konerko: 105 (30th, 94)
10. Troy Tulowitzki: 105 (13th, 104)

I didn’t exactly call Ellsbury’s power outburst, even if I did project him to hit more homers (11) than he did in either of his previous full seasons (nine and eight). I had him slugging .418, compared to his actual mark of .552.

The RBI leaderboard did have a lot of the usual suspects, though. The most notable absence was Pujols. I had him projected to finish second with 119 RBI, but he came in at 99.

Marlins announcer Tommy Hutton was let go because he was “too negative”

marlins logo wide

We heard earlier this week that Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton was let go after 19 seasons on the job. By all accounts, he’s well-liked and respected, so it smelled a little fishy with a team that has owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots. Well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source close to the Marlins that Hutton was let go because he was “too negative.”

Jackson was also able to get in touch with Hutton, who provided some details about how things went down.

“I know there were times I was negative, but I thought those times were called for,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said was positive. I tried not to be a homer, but you could tell I wanted the Marlins to do well.”

After being told that his salary wasn’t a factor in the decision, Hutton suspected that his candid, blunt analysis might be the impetus for his ouster.

So after learning his fate on Monday, he asked that question – whether they thought he was too negative — to both a Fox producer (at a meeting at Starbucks) and the Marlins’ vice president/communications (by phone).

He said the question was met with silence by both executives.

“I couldn’t get a yes or a no,” he said.

Hutton said there were three incident in recent years where he was told the Marlins were uncomfortable with something he said. He disclosed one example where he was exasperated at the ballpark’s dimensions after former catcher John Buck flew out to the warning track for the final out of a game. He was told by a Marlins vice president after the game that Loria prefer he not talk about the ballpark’s dimensions. Of course, the team is moving in the fences this winter.

To be clear, Hutton said he was told it was a “mutual decision” between the Marlins and FOX to let him go, but Jackson’s source hears that the concern about his “negativity” came from the team.

Hey, do you know the best way to prevent “negative” talk about your team? Fielding a winning baseball team without a dysfunctional ownership and front office. Crazy idea, I know, but it could be cool?

Report: Indians have been in touch with Shane Victorino

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01:  Shane Victorino #18 of the Los Angeles Angels makes a catch for an out against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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Outfield is a glaring need for the Indians, but they aren’t expected to shop for any of the big names on the free agent market. Instead, they are looking at potential bargains on short-term deals. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Shane Victorino falls under this classification and that the veteran outfielder is among many names the Indians have contacted.

Victorino, who turns 35 on Monday, has been limited to just 101 games over the past two seasons due to injury. Coming off back surgery, he batted just .230/.308/.292 with one home run and seven RBI over 204 plate appearances this past season between the Red Sox and Angels while battling calf and hamstring injuries. It’s hard to see the upside at this point, but the Indians could promise him regular at-bats, especially with Michael Brantley likely to miss the start of the 2016 season following shoulder surgery.

The Indians have also reportedly discussed trading either Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco for a bat, which represents their best chance of adding a big name to their outfield this winter.

Korean slugger Byung-ho Park is reportedly traveling to Minnesota

Byung-ho Park

Could the Twins and Korean slugger Byung-ho Park be close to finalizing a contract?

According to Naver Sports (via a translated report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press), Park is scheduled to travel to the United States on Sunday. The 29-year-old is expected to make a quick stop in Chicago to meet with his agent, Alan Nero, before coming to Minnesota to see Twins officials and take a physical exam. If all goes well, a contract could be finalized as soon as next week.

The Twins bid $12.85 million last month to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Park. The deadline to complete a deal is December 8. If a deal is not worked out, Park would remain with the Nexen Heroes in the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) and the Twins would not have to pay the posting fee.

Right now, it’s unclear how far along the two sides are in negotiations. However, Berardino hears that a guarantee in the range of $20-30 million is reasonable to expect.

Park, a two-time MVP in the KBO, has amassed 105 home runs in 268 games over the past two seasons. It’s hard to tell how those numbers will translate, even after the success of Jung Ho Kang this season, but the Twins are hoping he can be a middle-of-the-order force.

Miami Police Department considers Yasiel Puig case closed

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig waits to bat during batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

We have more details about Yasiel Puig‘s reported “brawl” at a bar in Miami. And while it’s a regrettable situation, it appears to be less serious than previously believed.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department confirmed that Puig was involved in a fight with a bouncer. However, Moss described it more as a “scuffle” than a “brawl.” The Dodgers outfielder suffered injuries to his face, including a swollen left eye, while the bouncer was left with a “busted lip” among other minor facial injuries.

While the bouncer alleged that he was sucker-punched by Puig, Moss said that neither were interested in pressing charges. As a result, the Miami Police Department considers the case closed.

TMZ reported that the fight with the bouncer took place after Puig got into a physical altercation with his sister. However, Moss said that “no shoving was alleged” and that “to the best of our knowledge, the only physical altercation was between the bouncer and Puig.”

Major League Baseball is still expected to investigate the incident under their new domestic violence policy.