For the fourth time in five years, Mike Trout may not win the AL MVP award, despite yet another outstanding season by the Los Angeles Angel. Entering play Monday, Trout had put up a triple-slash of .312/.431/.546, accumulating 24 home runs, 21 stolen bases, 82 RBI’s and 98 runs. Defensively Trout has ranked about league average, but advanced metrics have been bullish on him in the past, and to the naked eye he can still impress with his glove. His base-running has been great, per usual, and looks to once again be in the running for AL MVP. Other candidates, like Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve, come and go from year-to-year, but Trout can always be counted on to be right in the thick of the race.
As people have probably realized, my posting frequency has declined noticeably over the past few weeks. This, as I explained back in July, is largely due to a new job that I started almost two months ago. Because I need to focus not only on this job, but on my final year of school as well as my career after graduation, my blogging frequency will remain significantly lower than it has in the past.
With the trade deadline in the rear-view mirror, rather than a typical team/player/trade analysis, let’s get theoretical: What would the playoffs look like, and how would they unfold, if the season were to end today? Before getting started though, some ground rules:
Welcome to the month of August, the second to last month on baseball’s regular season calendar. We are now roughly two-thirds of the way through the season (each team has played over 100 games), the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, and playoff races are about to heat up. With that in mind, this is the perfect time to release a comprehensive, full 30-team power rankings. My rankings typically stray from the pack in terms of which teams are generally accepted as contenders or not. I do enjoy stirring up controversy, however, so I am not about to go and alter my rankings based on what the experts say.
Over the course of the past year or so, numerous teams have initiated a rebuilding process. (Interestingly, most if not all of them reside in the National League.) Each rebuild is different; each team has a unique philosophy on how a roster should be managed, through both the good times and bad.
Aroldis Chapman is now a member of the Chicago Cubs. It had long been speculated that Chapman would be on the move at some point before the trade deadline, as the Yankees currently sit 7.5 games back in the AL East and 4.5 games out from the second wild card spot. With a record of 50-48, the deficit may not seem too large, but the Yankees have question marks all over their lineup and rotation. 39-year-old Carlos Beltran, who like Chapman is in a contract year, has been the team’s best hitter. The rotation has failed to find consistency beyond Masahiro Tanaka.
On the evening of July 14th, the Boston Red Sox acquired lefty Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres in exchange for their top pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza. The evening of the deal, I tweeted that after some research, I was sold on the trade, as I could not find much evidence pointing to Pomeranz’s 2016 success as a fluke. I also wrote briefly about my opinion on my blog’s MLB 2016 Trade Deadline Tracker page. Now, however, I would like to discuss, in more detail, why I am so high on the 27-year old pitcher named Drew Pomeranz.