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Trading His Halo for the Motor City

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on April 22, 2013 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Albert Pujols is not what he once was.He is still going get his 30 homers and 90 plus RBI’s. However, Albert currently has a bum foot. That has effected his protector in the lineup, Josh Hamilton and the Angels are struggling. Jered Weaver is out and the newly acquired Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas haven’t panned out so far. Some are saying that their hitters (like young stars Mike Trout & Mark Trumbo) will come around but they are very seriously doubting their pitching staff.

I think what’s missing is Torii Hunter. Remember Harold Baines? That’s who Torii has become. He has always had power but with his hitting wisdom has matured with age. Hunter was also smart enough to realize that there might be a better lineup to hit in that doesn’t possess a Pujols.

Torii ditched his halo for the motor city and who can blame him for that? He currently has the best job in baseball. He hits second in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. If that isn’t good enough for you he also hits behind of Austin Jackson. Jackson has slowly become one of the premiere lead off men in baseball. If you think I am wrong, who is your team’s lead off man? Would you rather Jackson?

I know what you’re thinking, anybody could flourish hitting there in that lineup. I agree, but the fact that its a quality veteran like Hunter makes sense. Most two-hole hitters are small ball middle infielder types that bunt and hit balls on the ground.

Hunter’s other former team the Minnesota Twins have made headlines this year by batting former batting champ Joe Mauer in the two-hole. Who says batting your best hitter third is the law? As an opposing pitcher who lets the lead runner on, you would probably prefer to face someone who is going to bunt next. Facing Hunter or Mauer in that same situation is brutal. They can keep the at-bat alive by fouling off many pitches and then they smash a RBI double to the gap. Then you have to face Miguel Cabrera followed by Prince Fielder having already given up a run. Sounds like the ideal scenario and you don’t have to give up an out by bunting someone over.

Torii’s career batting average is a respectable .278 but in his 30′s he is hitting .285 with 164 homers. Prior to turning 30 his career average was .264 with 133 homers. In fairness of a finished product, I have not included this season’s stats in this Hunter breakdown. The point is Hunter does have the best job in the baseball. I also want to raise my glass to his manager Jim Leyland for breaking the mold by letting a tough out stand in the on deck circle to start every game. There is a lot of players who would have career years hitting where Hunter does, but Torii is just the perfect one for the job.

Josh Johnson

[email protected]

Jackie Robinson the Player

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on April 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Jackie Robinson the Player

We all know that Jackie Robinson was the man who broke the color barrier. His place in history was already set before he even stepped onto Ebbets Field. What feeds his legacy is the fact that he was a great player. He endured so much in his life, yet he still put up amazing numbers. His career stats are not often spouted because he only played ten seasons. Also he did not make his MLB debut till age 28. His numbers can hardly be compared to other players who played twice as long.

Robinson did win the Rookie of the Year honors in 1947 and the MVP in 1949 thanks to a league –leading .342 batting average. He also led the league in stolen bases with in '47 and '49 the modest totals of 29 and 37 respectively. Jackie was a fearless runner. His infamous steal of home is pictorial history. Jackie also scored 947 in 1,382 games. The active leader in runs scored is Alex Rodriguez with 1,898 runs in 2,524 games. Robinson also had 1,518 career hits. Had he played just three more seasons he would have stepped into the 2,000 hit club.

Jackie was incredibly patient hitter and did strike out a lot. He managed 740 base-on balls in just 5,804 plate appearances while only striking out just 291 times. In today's game numbers like that would positively ridiculous. His career strike out rate was 5.0% the league average during his career was 10.4%. The strikeout rate in 2012 was 19.8%. The walk rate in Robinson's day was 9.7%; Jackie's rate was 12.8%. Fellow elite Second Baseman Robinson Cano's career strikeout rate is 11.8% and his walk rate is 5.6%. Current walk rate leaders Adam Dunn (16.2%) and Todd Helton (14.3%) have career strikeout rates of 28.2% and 12.1%. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio is widely known for his lack of career strikeouts. He struck out just 369 times in 7,673 plate appearances for a rate of 4.8%. DiMaggio also had 790 career walks for rate of 10.3%. I am noting DiMaggio because his career overlapped Jackie's hence the era is similar. The only modern day players to produce a lower strikeout rate than Jackie's were Tony Gwynn (4.2%) and Bill Buckner (4.5%.)

Comparing players from different era's is always very hard. Obviously if Jackie broke into big leagues as a wide-eyed 21-year old his strikeout rate would be higher and walk rate would have been lower.

Mr. Robinson's place in baseball history is an important chapter in American history as well. Thanks to in depth baseball stat sheets we can always ask what if? Jackie's means so much to so many. He is a role model for diversity and patience. He was also a hell of player, who's potential was never fully realized.

Josh Johnson

[email protected]

24 and so much more: (with apologies to Neil Young)

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on April 16, 2013 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

24 and so much more: (with apologies to Neil Young)

If you follow baseball, it's assured that you know the players I am about to talk about. They are the brightest, the future of baseball for years to come. They will carry the MLB sigil with honor and they will respect the game, as well as their own capabilities. They created a buzz before they even were drafted. They have now arrived and the fantasy nerds are drooling pools of awe.

My criteria for this team:

•You must be 24 years old or younger

•You must have at least one year of MLB service time.

I now present to you my 2013…24 and under team.

At Catcher Wilin Rosario (24) of the Colorado Rockies. When a rookie hits .270 it warrants an encouraging pat on the back. When that same rookie is a catcher who also blasts 28 homers, its time to shower your scouts in champagne and pray for a repeat performance. His balance at the plate and his swing are light years ahead of his age.

At First Base Freddie Freeman (23) of the Atlanta Braves. This six foot six beast has now blasted back-to-back 20 homer run seasons. Some may look at his 2011 batting average of .282 compared to his .259 average of 2012 and think he has lost some plate discipline. What you don't see in the everyday box scores is that his peripheral percentages are still mostly gaining. He took a slight dip in on-base percentage but otherwise his slugging percentages, walk rate and strikeout rate have all improved. The brains at Baseball Prospectus have compared him to the likes of Kent Hrbek and Prince Fielder. I think that is a pretty fair and realistic assumption. With the Brothers Upton in tow and protecting him into his prime years I like for those percentage improvements to continue.

At Second Base Jose Altuve (23) of Houston Astros. At every minor and major level this five foot eight warrior has held his own with the bat by never hitting below .276. He literally stole fantasy owners hearts with 33 steals in 2012. He also hit .290 with just 74 strikeouts in 630 plate appearances. Those are elite totals for a second basemen. Minus one year where he missed 31 games the power hitting fellow second basemen Chase Ultey struck out at least100 times every time he has achieved 600 plus plate appearances in a season. Jose is destine to prove his prime is still to come and most reliable experts agreed.

At Shortstop Starlin Castro (23) of the Chicago Cubs. This early bloomer has already been in the Majors league for almost three full seasons. He is already a two-time all-star and he has 529 hits is just 1912 plate appearances. As his mixture of power and speed continue mature lofty "Ernie Banks" like goals are being spouted. He might eventually be a 30-30 guy. Starlin does a lot of things well. He will probably never lead the league in any major stat category but his well-rounded play is his key asset.

At Third Base Mike Moustakas (24) of the Kansas City Royals. He arrived in Kansas City with limitless potential. He was the guy the Royals faithful had been waiting for since George Brett hung up his cleats 20 years. Moustakas is a very different player than the Royals legend. Mike is a power first guy and Brett was a patience contact hitter who used the whole field. Moustakas is a projected clean-up hitter for years to come. I see him as a candidate to hit 500 career homers as long as he stays healthy.

In Left Field Bryce Harper (20) of the Washington Nationals. When I said earlier that these players have created a buzz before they were even drafted, I was mainly thinking of Harper. He is not old enough to drink, yet his team is hoping by his birthday on October 16th that they have more reasons to toast. The one stat that alarmed me about Harper was his 120 strikeouts in 597 plate appearances in 2012. I know that is not as alarming as Mark Reynolds (159 in 538 PA's) or Adam Dunn (222 in 649 PA's.) Percentage wise Harper's mark is 20.1% which is slightly above the league average of 19.8%. Then I remembered he is only 20 and he hit 22 homers. If he is average now who know what he will be in five years.

In Center Field Mike Trout (21) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Last year the world fell in love with this kid from New Jersey. His maturity shown true in his willing to adjust to major league pitching. He seems to be a perennial .300 hitter. While his place in the exclusive 300 homer run/300 stolen base club is being prepared, I would like to remind all stat junkies that the 400/400 club is not a distant chatter. The only member of the latter club is Barry Bonds. That makes one think if Trout can achieve that membership in today's game without chemical enhancements, his place in history should amongst the game's elite.

In Right Field Giancarlo Stanton (23) of the Miami Marlins. As I read my 2013 Baseball Prospectus I nearly soiled myself when I saw Stanton's age. I remembered upon his Major League arrival thinking he was too young. That was just three years ago and I still stand by my statement. He still hit .259 with 22 homers in roughly half a season of at-bats in 2010. I believe his natural gifts enabled him to ward off pitches over the fences. It's hard to predict or burden a player with a historical goal, but Stanton who already has 93 career homers seems destine to step in 600 homer territory. I view him as a spawn of Dave Winfield and Darryl Strawberry when I watch him swing with that tenacious reach. I also see flashes of Harmon Killebrew and Andre Dawson in his brute strength and in the way he truly punishes the ball.

On the mound Madison Bumgarner (23) of the San Francisco Giants. He has started 83 games and won 36 on them. He has averaged 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings on his career. Did I mention he is 23 years old. He has had some bad stretches but so far this innings eater has adjusted. Traditionally young arms are often limited but Bumgarner has been given a long leash and he has worked his way through with some on the job training. It's hard to set benchmarks for pitchers because year-to-year team status is a constant flux. At such a young age though, Bumgarner, to put simply has a chance to advance to Cooperstown.

In the bullpen Kelvin Herrera (23) of the Kansas City Royals. The Royals handed Herrera the ball 76 times last season and he responded with bolt after bolt of pure lightning. He projects as a closer and he throws enough gas to be an effective one. In 84.1 innings of work, Kelvin struck out 77 batters with 2.35 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. For his age that kind of consistency is not typical. Rumors are swirling out of Royals camp that he has added a curveball to his arsenal, which means his strikeouts could be on the rise. I very widely regard him as mixture of LaTroy Hawkins and Mariano Rivera. Am I saying he going to record 600 saves? No! I am saying like Hawkins he will have the ability to mix pitches, which will prolong his career. Also like Hawkins he might be a bullpen journeyman. And, like Rivera he too possess an overpowering out pitch. Herrera should be closing somewhere in a year or two and if he is not he will be the best set-up man in baseball.

A Most Honorable Mention:

At First Base Eric Hosmer (23) of the Kansas City Royals. Though his 2012 campaign was forgettable Hosmer is still potent topic of discussion when the game's future is in question. In 2011 he hit .293 with 19 homers and 11 stolen bases at the ripe age of 21. In 2012 his ground balls increased and that sliced 70 points off his batting average. He also hit just 14 homers in 35 more plate appearances than he logged in 2011. He did will himself to steal 16 bags. Hence whispers of a 20-20 season are gaining strength like a rodeo bull seeing red. I would like to caution any Hosmer haters that a baseball hitter's prime years are 27 to 30. Hosmer is an open book with a weak and mysterious second chapter. Though the outline is a predication, it is far from a conclusion.

Josh Johnson

[email protected]

Should the Yankees trade Robinson Cano?

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Should the Yankees trade Robinson Cano?

Many skeptics are predicting the New York Yankees to be septic. The names already on the disabled list read more like an All-Star lineup. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixiera, Alex "Aroid" Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson are currently serving extended stints on the DL. As a result the Yankees have been forced to settle for the aging Lyle Overbay and the unproven Eduardo Nunez to fill some voids. Over the proverbial baseball hill veterans like Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner have also been brought in to make it look like they are actually trying. Some guy named Chris Stewart was their starting catcher on opening day. Stewart is there because some other guy (who was probably fired) thought the Yankees should trade their top-hitting prospect who just happened to be a catcher for Michael Pineda. Hey Yankees fans remember Jesus Montero? He was the man you traded for Pineda. Pineda did have one very good year in Seattle but he has yet to put on a Yankee uniform due to shoulder surgery. Montero had an encouraging season for Mariners and he appears to a fixture in Seattle for years to come.

This leaves Ichiro Suzuki and the amazing Robinson Cano. Ichiro is also aging but he is still a solid hitter. Cano is one of the top five players in baseball. He is easily the best second baseman in the game today. The 30-year Dominican has progressively gotten stronger and more patient over his eight seasons in the majors. He has produced 115 of 177 career homers over the last four seasons. This lefty slugger also has a career batting average of .308.

Why would the Yankees trade this stud named after Jackie Robinson? There are three good reasons that this would make sense.

1. Cano is 30 years old and players often decline in their thirties, some faster than others. Cano has been a very durable player, which has boded well for the Yankees cause. However 1,200 plus games in an eight year span may also mean his tread has a lot of wear.

2. He is a left-handed power hitting second baseman. Then again so was Chase Utley, who has been a shell of himself in his thirties.

3. He could command a haul. Given the fact the Yankees have so much money wrapped up in older players, they might want to consider seeking two quality prospects that they could control salary wise. Why give another old guy a briefcase full of Benjamins when two boxes of quarters can weigh down some talented kids. Cano is also in a contract year, so his performance this season can really shift the balance of his situation.

Obviously the Yankee the faithful would love to keep him. But, they also need realize that every GM in baseball would probably trade their current second baseman and then some, to get Cano in their lineup.

Is it time for the Yankees to rebuild? Should they sacrifice a player that possibly has two or three elite years left in him? Will Brian Cashman read this? Granted the season is young. But, if the Yankees struggle like the haters hope they will, disagreeable situations could arise. Cano is one of my favorite players on the planet. I see him having another career year this season. I wish him all best no matter who's lid he puts on next season or later on this year.

Josh Johnson

AL Central Rundown

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on March 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

AL Central Rundown

5th place: Minnesota Twins

I hate doing this but my hope is that they will prove me wrong. The Twins are clearly in rebuilding mode. Better days lie ahead. As for now, the divisional waters will create a constant stream of waves. The key offensive players are Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and second year man Josh Willingham. Power numbers are a must for these three. The pitching staff starts with newcomer Vance Vorley and ends with Glen "the Percolator" Perkins. Non-flashy efficiency is their pitching theme. Their years of trying to play the big payroll game are slowly fading. The developmental side is again the main focus. Again brighter years are a head, but as for this season I believe a fourth place finish would be a victory. If they were to finish third that would be a major step.

4th place: Chicago White Sox

Gordon Beckham was supposed to be the cornerstone of something so big that Chicago would vote him mayor. The White Sox did revive Alex Rios and eventually Jake Peavy's careers. They have patiently brought left fielder Dayan Viciedo along and he rewarded them by bashing 25 homers a year ago. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko are the aging sluggers and the keys to this team's success. I am sure the White Sox brass would love to see Dunn hit .230 even if that means his power numbers take a hit. Center fielder Alejandro De Aza and catcher Tyler Flowers along Viciedo are the future offensive leaders of this team. They will need to prove themselves in order for this team to finish higher than fourth. The 24 year-old Chris Sale is now the ace of the pitching staff. Well-seasoned veterans Gavin Floyd and John Danks will also need to pull their weight. Finishing fourth seems to be their best option mainly because Cleveland has improved, albeit on paper, and Kansas City has addressed their pitching needs.

3rd place: Kansas City Royals

The Royals have tried to develop a pitching staff and they keep having setbacks. Luke Hochevar is now a bullpen threat. Danny Duffy is in for a year of rehab after having the infamous Tommy John surgery. Enter James Shields and Wade Davis through the way of Tampa Bay. Yes, in case you haven't heard the Royals traded the best hitting prospect in baseball (Wil Myers) and received two successful pieces to add to their rotation in return. The amazing thing about this trade is that they didn't deal a major league player and got two pitchers with loads of major league innings already logged. Ervin Santana was brought in for cheap thanks to a harsh season last year with the Angels. I think the change of scenery will do him some good. The core of the this team has not been broken up. They return basically the same batting order they ended with last season. In an era of free agency who can ever say that? Billy Butler is the focal point and Alex Gordon is likely his second in command. They both could be in for breakout offensive years and that should ease the burden on promising youngsters like Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas. Shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Salvador Perez seem primed to have career years as well. I love Escobar and I believe his ceiling is very high. Perez has never endured a whole major league season behind the plate and that might make for an interesting distraction with some new arms abroad this righting ship.

2nd Place: Cleveland Indians

Mark Reynolds and Nick Swisher have arrived and they intend to combine for 60 round-trippers. Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs have also landed and stealing 100 bases combined is their goal. That is all music to catcher Carlos Santana's ears. He has been basically on a desert island in the middle of this batting order with no real source of prevalent power. He did have a batting average guy in the oft-injured Shin-Soo Choo but he was flipped for Stubbs. Jason Kipnis is a star in the making and his well-rounded game will need to continue to improve. The weakness/question mark is third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. The "Chis" has been a slow train coming. His major league totals are suspect and that's why super-sub Mike Aviles is in house. Aviles does it all defensively and his offensive game is a nice mix of everything. Asdrubel Cabrera became mortal again and he might never climb another mountain. The arms of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers will be stressed to the max. I love the potential this teams presents on paper and lofty goals are already being spouted. The bullpen leaders Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano are two of the most understated relievers the game has to offer.

1st place: Detroit Tigers

The Tigers lost a former Twin Delmon Young and then added another in Torii Hunter. What they got in Hunter is a consist power bat. Delmon served them well but was a clubhouse cancer and when you are a team that is projected to make a playoff run in the preseason you want all positive attitudes. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are the literal cornerstones and the Tigers are built around them. They will hit 70 plus homers and drive over 200 runs in together like they did last season. The other two big keys to this team's success will be the bats of catcher Alex Avila and center fielder Austin Jackson. Avila had a rough 2012 season with just nine homers, 48 RBI's and .243 batting average. Those were typical catcher numbers. But, after a 2011 season that saw him hit 19 homers and 82 RBI's with .295 batting average the Tigers were expecting something better. After they lost Victor Martinez prior to the start of the 2012 season to injury, Avila was asked to protect Fielder and Cabrera in the batting order. The result was a magnifying one that showed his peers were ready for him. Jackson has busted his butt, making himself a complete player and I expect him to exceed his homer total of 16 and his stolen base total of 12 which was down from 22 in 2011. Justin Verlander is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He is a beast and he will probably win 18-25 games with an ERA under 3.00 and he will strikeout 200 batters once again. Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez will be needing to eat innings as well, because after Jaoquin Benoit and Al Alburquerque this bullpen is pretty suspect. Let us not forgot however, that this team was in the World Series last year and they are still the frontrunners to return.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXOHA-lTYL0 Tigers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RQkP5YvluE Indians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ2ZBvctL8E Royals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n3-l_pvwKk White Sox

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C706TSTbC6Q Twins

Josh Johnson

Fantasy pitchers breakdown 2013

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on March 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Fantasy pitchers breakdown 2013:

These are my predictions! I made them with my gut and my baseball brain.

Top 30 Starting Pitchers:

1. Justin Verlander 20 wins 2.50 era 220 strikeouts

2. Clayton Kershaw 17 wins 2.90 era 209 strikeouts

3. David Price 16 wins 2.95 era 204 strikeouts

4. Jered Weaver 16 wins 3.09 era 202 strikeouts

5. Cole Hamels 15 wins 3.04 era 200 strikeouts

6. Matt Cain 14 wins 3.20 era 170 strikeouts

7. Felix Hernandez 12 wins 2.79 era 190 strikeouts

8. Adam Wainwright 14 wins 3.20 era 176 strikeouts

9. CC Sabathia 13 wins 3.39 era 193 strikeouts

10. Cliff Lee 12 wins 3.40 era 185 strikeouts

11. R.A. Dickey 13 wins 3.56 era 189 strikeouts

12. Gio Gonzalez 15 wins 3.98 era 180 strikeouts

13. Madison Bumgarner 12 wins 3.59 era 185 strikeouts

14. Zack Greinke 13 wins 3.98 era 170 strikeouts

15. Stephen Strasburg 15 wins 4.02 190 strikeouts

16. Chris Sale 11 wins 3.90 era 170 strikeouts

17. James Shields 13 wins 3.90 era 165 strikeouts

18. Yovani Gallardo 11 wins 3.80 era160 strikeouts

19. Josh Johnson 12 wins 3.90 era 150 strikeouts

20. Max Scherzer 15 wins 4.50 era 190 strikeouts

21. Johnny Cueto 14 wins 3.90 era 165 strikeouts

22. Yu Darvish 15 wins 4.44 era 179 strikeouts

23. Roy Halladay 11 wins 3.29 era 151 strikeouts

24. Jordan Zimmerman 13 wins 4.11 era 160 strikeouts

25. Mat Latos 13 wins 3.99 era 150 strikeouts

26. Hiroki Kuroda 14 wins 3.80 era 140 strikeouts

27. Dan Haren 12 wins 4.39 era 183 strikeouts

28. Kris Medlen 13 wins 3.95 era 160 strikeouts

29. Tommy Milone 13 wins 4.02 era 149 strikeouts

30. Brett Anderson 11 wins 3.49 era 140 strikeouts

Honorable Mention:

CJ Wilson, Wade Miley, Jake Peavy, Ian Kennedy, Tim Hudson, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Clay Buchholz and Edwin Jackson

Top 10 Closers:

1. Craig Kimball 50 saves

2. Jason Motte 44 saves

3. Fernando Rodney 41 saves

4. Chris Perez 38 saves

5. Jonathan Papelbon 36 saves

6. Mariano Rivera 36 saves

7. John Axford 33 saves

8. Glen Perkins 31 saves

9. Jim Johnson 30 saves

10. Joe Nathan 29 saves

Top10 Holds Guys and Potential Save Option:

1. Pedro Strop 30 holds/15 saves

2. Bobby Parnell 21 holds/17 saves

3. Ernesto Frieri 24 holds/13 saves

4. Kenley Jansen 22 holds/13 saves

5. Tyler Clippard 24 holds/11 saves

6. Sean Marshall 28 holds/10 saves

7. Ryan Cook 22 holds/9 saves

8. Matt Thornton 25 holds/6 saves

9. Luke Gregerson 30 holds/9 saves

10. Santiago Casilla 24 holds/5saves

thanks for reading,

Josh Johnson

Fantasy Hitters Breakdown 2013

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on March 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Fantasy Hitters Breakdown 2013:

These are my predictions! I made them with my gut and my baseball brain.


1. Buster Posey .329 BA 22 hrs 95 rbi’s

2. Carlos Santana .289 BA. 29 hrs 92 rbi’s

3. Joe Mauer .329 BA 12 hrs 90 rbi’s

4. Yadier Molina .295 BA 20 hrs 89 rbi’s

5. Matt Weiters .279 BA 23 hrs 80 rbi’s

6. Brian McCann .259 BA 28 hrs 88 rbi’s

7. J.P. Arencibia .264 BA 27 hrs 85 rbi’s

8. Salvador Perez .279 BA 18 hrs 79 rbi’s

9. A.J. Pierzynski .293 BA16 hrs 70 rbi’s

10 Ryan Doumit .280 22 hrs 75 rbi’s


1. Albert Pujols .327 BA 37 hrs 119 rbi’s

2. Joey Votto .310 BA 25 hrs 100 rbi’s

3. Prince Fielder .274 44 hrs 104 rbi’s

4. Adrian Gonzalez .301 BA 30 100 rbi’s

5. Billy Butler .320 BA 33 hrs 96 rbi’s

6. Edwin Encarnacion .269 BA 32 hrs 84 rbi’s

7. Allen Craig .307 BA 21 hrs 81 rbi’s

8. Freddie Freeman .280 BA 26 hrs 87 rbi’s

9. Mark Trumbo .263 BA 40 hrs 89 rbi’s

10. Ike Davis .253 BA 36 hrs 82 rbi’s


1. Robinson Cano .340 BA 39 hrs 114 rbi’s

2. Dustin Pedoria .303 BA 20 hrs 77 rbi’s 22 sb

3. Ian Kinsler .281 BA 26 hrs 83 rbi’s 17 sb

4. Jason Kipnis .268 BA 24 hrs 70 rbis’s 30 sb

5. Ben Zobrist .264 BA 26 hrs 75 rbi’s 11 sb

6. Rickie Weeks .271 BA 22 hrs 79 rbi’s 15 sb

7. Jose Altuve .276 10 hrs 56 rbi’s 40 sb

8. Brandon Phillips .280 19 hrs 71 rbi’s 11 rbi’s

9. Aaron Hill .268 27 hrs 72 rbi’s 18 sb

10. Dan Uggla .253 37 hrs 87 rbi’s


1. Jose Reyes .308 BA 15hrs 62 rbi’s 42 sb

2. Troy Tulowitzki .286 BA 31 hrs 90 rbi’s

3. Ian Desmond .274 BA 25 hrs 87 rbi’s 23 sb

4. Starlin Castro .283 BA 17 hrs 69 rbi’s 24 sb

5. Hanley Ramirez .262 BA 28 hrs 80 rbi’s 19 sb

6. Jimmy Rollins .278 BA14 hrs 59 rbi’s 27 sb

7. Elvis Andrus .276 BA 5 hrs 49 rbi’s 38 sb

8. Asdrubel Cabrera .271 20 hrs 61 rbi’s 10 sb

9. Ben Zobrist .264 BA 26 hrs 75 rbi’s 11 sb

10. Jean Segura .259 BA 3 hrs 40 rbi’s 32 sb


1. Miguel Cabrera .331 BA 40 hrs 129 rbi’s

2. Evan Longoria .294 BA 29 hrs 97 rbi’s

3. Adrian Beltre .311 BA 26 hrs 92 rbi’s

4. David Wright .288 BA 22 hr 86 rbi’s 12 sb

5. Hanley Ramirez .262 BA 28 hrs 80 rbi’s 19 sb

6. Ryan Zimmerman .267 BA 30 hrs 83 rbi’s

7. Aramis Ramirez .279 BA 24 hrs 69 rbi’s

8. Pablo Sandoval .287 BA 21 hrs 71 rbi’s

9. David Freese .265 BA 29 hrs 70 rbi’s

10. Pedro Alavrez .248 BA 31 hrs 70 rbi’s


1. Ryan Braun .324 BA 36 hrs 121 rbi’s 24 sb

2. Mike Trout .309 BA 24 hrs 80 rbi’s 59 sb

3. Matt Kemp .302 BA 32 hr 97 rbi’s 25 sb

4. Andrew McCutchen .307 BA 35 hrs 93 rbi’s 30 sb

5. Giancarlo Stanton .268 BA 48 hrs 90 rbi’s

6. Carlos Gonzalez .298 BA 30 hrs 91 rbi’s 13 sb

7. Josh Hamilton .278 BA 28 hrs 88 rbi’s

8. Justin Upton .304 BA 26 hrs 85 rbi’s 20 sb

9. B.J. Upton .260 BA 31 hrs 84 rbi’s 29 sb

10. Jay Bruce .265 BA 34 hrs 98 rbi’s

11. Adam Jones .293 BA 25 hrs 79 rbi’s 17 sb

12. Jason Heyward .279 BA 22 hrs 76 rbi’s 30 sb

13. Yoenis Cespedes .281 BA 29 hrs 80 rbi’s 19 sb

14. Ben Zobrist .264 BA 26 hrs 75 rbi’s 11 sb

15. Jacoby Ellsbury .280 BA 20 hrs 81 rbi’s 38 sb

16. Bryce Harper .294 BA 21 hrs 65 rbi’s 21 sb

17. Matt Holiday .270 BA 28 hrs 79 rbi’s

18. Allen Craig .307 BA 21 hrs 81 rbi’s

19. Michael Bourn .280 BA 9 hr 44 rbi’s 47 sb

20. Desmond Jennings .269 BA 20 hrs 63 rbi’s 30 sb

21. Alex Rios .298 BA 22 hrs 80 rbi’s 18 sb

22. Alex Gordon .279 BA 20 hrs 67 rbi’s 19 sb

23. Carlos Gomez .259 BA 26 hrs 69 rbi’s 29 sb

24. Shin-Soo Choo .296 BA 19 hrs 70 rbi’s 18 sb

25. Alejandro De Aza .273 BA15 hrs 49 rbi’s 30 sb

26. Shane Victorino .257 BA 13 hrs 53 rbi’s 32 sb

27. Melky Cabrera .287 BA 22 hrs 59 rbi’s 28 sb

28. Mark Trumbo .263 BA 40 hrs 89 rbi’s

29. Nick Markakis .304 BA 19 hrs 70 rbi’s 15 sb

30. Norichika Aoki .277 BA 14 hrs 49 rbi’s 32 sb

Thanks for reading, please tell me how wrong I am.

Josh Johnson

the 6-4-3 Rivalry

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on March 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

"the 6-4-3 Rivalry"

blast, the dong, the shot, the smash, the drive, the round-tripper what does it all mean? It is of course the ultimate thrill for the majority of baseball fanatics. I for one prefer to see a graceful 6-4-3 double-play that enables a 
pitcher to escape a bad situation. When a power-play shot from the point 
in hockey hits the goalpost with a “TING” the sound can be awful or awesome 
depending who you are cheering for. Soccer and Football have their own goalpost 
tings and basketball has the “CLANK” (trust me when I say I know all about the 
clank). I love a Hail-Mary and a half court shot that goes in. I really 
love hockey’s twisted wrister but the 6-4-3 double-play in Baseball is the ultimate thing of beauty.

Josh Johnson

Three-Finger Advantage

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on February 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Three-Finger Advantage

As I did my daily transaction read last season I saw that Tiger's rookie pitcher Drew Smyley went on the DL with what was called a major blister. Now if you have ever had any kind of blister you know they burn really bad and you too would not want to throw 100 pitches. As a pitcher it would be hard trying to heal a blister on one of your fingers but the 15-day DL really? That is severe! Would RA Dickey go on the DL if he broken the fingernail that he uses for his knuckler? Chances are he would at least miss a start.

We can't talk about pitchers fingers without talking about Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown. Otherwise known as Three-Finger Brown. He was a Chicago Cubs slinger from 1903 to 1913. He was known for his partial pinkie, his mostly severed index finger and his crooked middle finger. He was feared for his amazing rotating curveball. His disability was his advantage. No one else could throw the ball with such movement. I suppose his lack of surface area and fingernails meant less to blister or crack. However, we can all appreciate the mental toughness it must have took for Brown to overcome the traumatic injuries that left his hand in that state. Brown was a two-time World Series champion and hero. He even, in 1908 to 1911 won at least 21 games per season and led the league in saves in all four seasons. Many arms have been sacrificed over the years and pitch counts and required rest have been to attempted in effort to equalize. However because of modern restrictions we will never have another Mordecai "three-finger" Brown.

Josh Johnson

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Posted by Dakota Sports FM on February 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)


There is only one Rickey Henderson and in my mind he was greatest ever. Yes, he only had 297 career homers and yes his career batting average in only .279. I 
believe however, being a career leadoff hitter, that his batting average is 
somewhat jaded. Listen, we all know that Rickey was clearly a thief on the base path. Anyone ever heard of a Rickey-Rally? It’s when Rickey would leadoff the game by drawing a walk then he’d steal second and third base and score on a sacrifice fly and it’s a 1-0 lead without a the benefit of a hit. Mr. Henderson 
also stole 100 bases in a season three times his career, only one other modern day player has done that (Vince Coleman.) He also stole at least 70 bases in seven different seasons. Yes, 
Rickey might have played too long but at age 39 he lead the league in stolen bases with 66 and in walks (118). Even still after 24 seasons in the majors his 
career on-base percentage is .401 that is amazing considering Ichiro’s career .OBP is .376 and only Albert Pujols (.426) and Todd Helton (.424) are better 
amongst active players. Another Left fielder with a monster career .OBP was hit 
machine Ted Williams who is the all-time leader at .482 other notables include 
Babe Ruth .474, Barry Bonds .444, Tris Speaker .428 and Cupid Childs .416.

Not only did Rickey average 74 
stolen bases per 162 games but he also average 115 walks per 162 games as well. To truly prove how great Rickey was you have to look the negative stats as 
well, yes Rickey was human enough to average 89 strikeouts per 162 and he is 
the All-Time leader in Caught Stealing with 335 (only ten active players have more than 335 successful career swipes.) There are two very amazing stats that Rickey accomplished. First Rickey was caught stealing 42 times 1982 (the same year in successfully stole 130 bases) do you how good you have to be to get caught stealing 42 times in one season. Secondly and the most amazing Rickey stat was set 1985 when Rickey scored 146 runs in 143 games. Runs scored are the most important baseball stat because if don’t score runs you don’t win. Rickey also holds the All-Time record for runs scored in a career with 2295 and he average 121 runs per 162 games.

Josh Johnson

[email protected]