Welcome to the 2017 Season on MLB Sweet Spot! Opening Day is less than 2 weeks away, which means it is time to follow up my Bold Predictions from earlier in the off-season with a more statistical and factual based look at some names around the majors and how they stack up in 2017. As such, I have provided some of my sleepers and busts for this year. As always, feel free to comment with any thoughts, good or bad. That way, at the end of the season when I am correct (or incorrect), I (or you) can look back at this and taunt you (or me). Just a few notes before we begin:
Early Saturday morning (or late Friday night depending on where you live) the Boston Red Sox acquired closer Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ziegler, who make no mistake is a very good addition, was not necessarily the name I expected the Sox to get back in June when I explained the team’s possible relief pitching trade targets. Nonetheless, Executive of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski’s focus will now shift to the starting pitching market.
Every year, Baseball America publishes a Top 100 Prospects list before the season begins. MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus come up with their own lists as well, and baseball fans around the country think they know the whole prospect story. But there’s a lot more to The Farm than a top 100 can cover, and many impact players remain anonymous until they reach the majors. In this article, we’ll look at five hitting prospects producing at higher levels than their notoriety would suggest. (We’ll do pitchers next week.)
Tonight, RHP Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers will take the mound against the Kansas City Royals, making his 10th start of the season as well as just the tenth start of his career. More importantly though, the 23-year old will be entering this start with a 28 1/3 inning scoreless streak, covering a span of just over 4 games (you can check out Fulmer’s game log below). In his four most recent starts, all being scoreless, Fulmer is 4-0, as is his team. On the season, Fulmer is 7-1, and the Tigers are 8-1 in the games that he has started. For a team that is 34-32 to start the season and is in the midst of what seems to be a four team race for the division crown, it is clear that Fulmer has been instrumental to the Tigers’ season. Well, I am here to tell you that the Michael Fulmer is for real, well sort of…
Recently I was asked if I would be able to help provide content to publish on Off The Bench Baseball. Being a great opportunity to get my name out there and to publish on a much more viewed site, I had to accept. Thank you to all of those at Off The Bench who have given me this opportunity!
Below is a quick teaser for my first article published on their site. To read the post in its entirety, click on the article title or the link below the teaser. Continue reading Exciting News, and an Article on Corey Seager
Last Saturday afternoon, the Chicago White Sox fortified their pitching staff by acquiring James Shields from the San Diego Padres. Analysis of that trade can be found here, but to summarize, I really liked the deal for Chicago, as the cost was small from both a player and a financial perspective.
Unfortunately for the Chi-Sox, their roster still has some major holes to fill, most notably on offense. While many have assumed that the area to add to would be in Chicago’s outfield, I feel that their is another route that the team can take. That would be making a run at Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers.
It’s now been two months, and my opinion of Boston’s bullpen has not changed. At the start of the season, I felt that they were a shut-down lefty shy of being a real plus for the team, and with Carson Smith now done for the season, it has become even more evident that the team could use another dominating arm. Craig Kimbrel and Koji Ueahara have both under-performed to this point, and while I have confidence that Kimbrel will turn it around, Koji’s age and durability should definitely be a concern. Junichi Tazawa has faded down the stretch each of the last two seasons with heavy usage, and names like Robbie Ross Jr., Tommy Layne, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Noe Ramirez, and now Clay Buchholz do not instill the amount of confidence needed by a playoff contending team. Barnes and Hembree have both been very good, but it is still risky to rely on them in big roles, which was demonstrated by Hembree’s 8th inning implosion last Sunday.