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  • 10/02/2013, 06:22PM ET

Make the most ballin' MLB team you could possibly make. For right now, of course.

Marlins Fan (156-78-31) vs MagicSpecs (4-9-2)
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Now that the MLB season is winding down (or just about to start, if you're one of those poor saps who only follows the postseason) I've realized FN has had a serious MLB TD deficiency this year. Time to change that, so make a damn baseball team. Use one pitcher, a starter, and don't bother with any girly DH's. This is real baseball.

C- Yadier Molina
People love Posey and Mauer and LuCroy, etc, but Molina posted a higher OPS than all except Mauer and defensively it's not close; Molina is tops.

1B- Joey Votto
Hard leaving off Goldschmidt and Crush Davis but Votto owns them defensively.

2B- Robinson Cano
There's a reason he wants 300 mil.

3B- Miguel Cabrera
Isn't great defensively but he's the best hitter I've ever seen (I guess except for Bonds, gag).

SS- Troy Tulowitzki
Sorry, HanRam. Troy's glove... so much better.

RF- Shin-Soo Choo
Horribly underrated.

CF- Carlos Gomez
Sorry, McCutchen. Gomez is better defensively and on the base paths, and similar at the plate.

LF- Mike Trout
Not debatable.

SP- Clayton Kershaw
Again, not debatable.


1. Trout
2. Choo
3. Votto
4. Cabrera
5. Tulowitzki
6. Cano
7. Gomez
8. Molina
9. Kershaw


Firstly, I like your team and I'm really just splitting hairs. There's a lot of crossover and I'm sorry but I just can't help it.

Secondly, by 'right now' I assume you mean 2013-season and not October 3rd 2013. The reason I say this is because I'm going to put in a guy who is injured 'right now', but Miggy isn't exactly a picture of health as of today either so I'm hoping everyone will let it slide.


C- Yadier Molina
His defense makes this is no contest.

1B- Paul Goldschmidt
Yep.

2B- Robinson Cano
If I were Yankees front office I wouldn't go over $200m, but he's still the top dog right now.

3B- Miggy Cabrera
The best hitter in baseball. I'd keep him in the team even if he had a dustbin lid instead of a glove.

SS- Troy Tulowitzki
No argument here, although I'd like to see how he'd perform in a full season away from Coors.

RF- Shin-Soo Choo
I'm with you here. This guy is GREAT.

CF- Mike Trout
Making room for...

LF- Carlos Gonzalez
Injured right now, but he was on track for a great 2013.

SP- Clayton Kershaw
No brainer.



1. Trout
2. Choo
3. Cabrera
4. Gonzalez
5. Goldschmidt
6. Cano
7. Tulowitzki
8. Molina
9. Kershaw


What up, Magic Specs, good luck in the TD. Not gonna argue CarGo-Gomez right now but I was thinking right now like today instead of the 2013 season in general, but no matter. We can work with it. Voters can interpret it however they choose. Moving right along.

It's very difficult for me to argue against Paul Goldschmidt. I am a fan. I am very much in awe of his offensive prowess. Dude is a world class hitter, for sure.

But he's not Joey Votto.

Now to be fair, Votto's offensive numbers were slightly down this year, at least in terms os sexy stats like homers and runs batted in, which is all the casual fan will notice anyway.

But a closer look shows how valuable Votto really was. For example, his OBP of .435 led the NL and was second only to the Great Miguel Cabrera amongst all baseball players. Matter of fact Votto leads ALL currently active players in career OBP at .4193. Did you know only 40 HoF-eligible players in MLB history have had a career OBP of over. 400?

To put it another way, Votto has the 18th best career OBP in the long, storied history of baseball.

That alone is worth gold, but Votto is possibly the best fielding 1B in MLB, too.


Good luck to you.

Re: Gonzalez - I'll leave my fate in the lap of the voter.


Votto is an OBP God, but Goldy isn't far behind. Let's put his .401OBP into context.
Working through the numbers, hitting both in the 3-hole (to make a fair comparison) would equate to Votto getting on base once more every 6.5 games. A very slight edge.


Meanwhile Goldy is getting it DONE with the stick: 125RBI to 77 is huge.
It's not the RBI totals themselves, but the reason behind the difference that is fundamental to why Goldy trumps Votto. It's their hitting philosophy.

Over the season Goldy had more doubles and 50% more HRs than Votto. Even including walks as singles he had more total bases. With lesser lefty/righty splits. Throw in 15 stolen bags for good measure.
In near idential PAs with RISP Goldy had more doubles, over twice the homers, and less strikeouts.

Goldschmidt hits to win the game. Votto? Not to lose.
And that's why you take Goldy's bat.


But don't undersell the glove. Goldy ranked 2nd amongst 1Bs in fielding% (.997), 1st in range factor (10.02) and 1st in total zone runs (12).


So the bat you want is Goldy's, and the glove is (at worst) up for debate.


You've made this argument very difficult for me because you've chosen two players I really like. Like Goldschmidt, Carlos Gonzalez is a player I love to watch. I root for the guy and I am in awe of his skill set. Gonzalez is one of those few players we can say really has/had five tool potential.

But Carlos Gomez is the more valuable choice right now. Funny that this would come down to a battle of dudes named Carlos but that's neither here nor there.

The most obvious argument against Gonzalez is his injury history. I don't believe that athletes are necessarily genetically prone to injuries but something is wrong with CarGo. Or perhaps more fittingly, something is always wrong with CarGo.

Gonzalez has played six seasons in MLB, but he's only played more than 127 games in just two of those seasons. He's never managed more than 145 games and he averages about 115 games a year. Great player, when he's available.

But it's not just games missed that doom CarGo; he's not the complete player Gomez is, either.

Gomez is one of MLB's absolute best defensive fielders. Not so for CarGo.

Gomez is an elite base stealer. Not so for CarGo.

CarGom>CarGon


I'll concede the glove.

Gonzalez might be a china doll, but Gomez is hardly a picture of perfection, having only every played over 150 games in a season once in his career.

Gomez holds an edge on the basepaths, but Gonzalez is excellent in his own right.

The rest is all CarGo.


Gomez has only ever had one season in his career with an OBP above .305. Is that really a guy deserving a spot in the best possible lineup in baseball? CarGo's posted OBPs over .350 every year since his rookie campaign.

CarGo has a clear and significant power advantage. In 7 seasons in the bigs Gomez has only two years putting up double digits home runs.


CarGo is the guy you want at the plate, not Gomez. The drop in defence is minimised by shifting Trout to centre and sticking CarGo in left.

CarGo also gives you another genuine elite left-handed power bat. My lineup changes give Miggy extra ABs, and then tests the opposing bullpen with an opposite hand bat protecting him.


Bringing in Goldschmidt and CarGo is a slight fielding downgrade, but a huge power upgrade. On the basepaths it's a wash, my guys are a slight OBP upgrade.

I'll take the power and on-base skills.

October 3, 2013  09:36 AM ET

Tempted to take this, but I wouldn't be able to post over the weekend. I don't want to be another to abuse the broken-timer-of-woe...

October 3, 2013  10:16 AM ET

Defense from a 1B doesn't bother me. Let the juicer shine there.

Also, Gomez over McCutchen? Wow.

October 3, 2013  10:20 AM ET

Oh I can't resist...

October 3, 2013  03:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Defense from a 1B doesn't bother me. Let the juicer shine there. Also, Gomez over McCutchen? Wow.

You should know better. Offensively they're similar (obviously Cutch drives in more runs because of his lineup position) and Gomez is a FAR superior defended and base stealer.

I would've expected a Brewers fan to be aware of that by now. Reputation isn't everything.

October 3, 2013  03:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Defense from a 1B doesn't bother me. Let the juicer shine there. Also, Gomez over McCutchen? Wow.

And your idea that 1B don't need to play defense is narrow minded, at best. You should look up how run prevention translates to wins some time. Might be surprised.

I know the average baseball fan cant see past batting average and RBI but there is a better way, guys.

October 3, 2013  03:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

You should know better. Offensively they're similar (obviously Cutch drives in more runs because of his lineup position) and Gomez is a FAR superior defended and base stealer.I would've expected a Brewers fan to be aware of that by now. Reputation isn't everything.

I wouldn't consider Gomez the FAR superior defender or base stealer. I'd give him the advantage in each category, but proving his slim margins in defense and baserunning outweigh their production at the plate is an uphill battle.

McCutchen is very good defensively, hell he even won a Gold Glove last year. As for base stealing, McCutchen again rates as above average by Baseball Prospectus.

October 3, 2013  04:02 PM ET

Offensively, McCutchen has a noticeably higher BA (about .35 points higher), OBP, OPS (about .75 points higher).

McCutchen also walked 78 times to 103 strikeouts. Gomez? 37 BB to 146 K.

I enjoyed the hell out of Gomez's season, but he's not better than McCutchen.

October 3, 2013  04:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

And your idea that 1B don't need to play defense is narrow minded, at best. You should look up how run prevention translates to wins some time. Might be surprised.I know the average baseball fan cant see past batting average and RBI but there is a better way, guys.

Freddie Freeman!

October 3, 2013  05:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Freddie Freeman!

Freeman is outstanding.

October 3, 2013  05:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I wouldn't consider Gomez the FAR superior defender or base stealer. I'd give him the advantage in each category, but proving his slim margins in defense and baserunning outweigh their production at the plate is an uphill battle.McCutchen is very good defensively, hell he even won a Gold Glove last year. As for base stealing, McCutchen again rates as above average by Baseball Prospectus.

Gold gloves are completely irrelevant. A total popularity contest. Heck, Derek freaking Jeter has five of his own! Despite being universally regarded as an abysmal fielder, at least during the time when he was winning GG's.

In 2012 Mike Trout and Brendan Ryan graded out as MLB's premier run preventers but neither won a Gold Glove.

Or in 2009, Franklin Gutierrez was the best run preventer in MLB yet Adam Jones, a subpar centerfielder, won the GG.

Every year there are a handful of terrible GG selections, and although McCutchen isn't necessarily a terrible fielder he certainly isn't GG caliber.

The Gold Glove award is less meaningful than even an All Star or Pro Bowl bid. Means nothing.

In 2013, among all qualifying MLB outfielders, Gomez ranked third in Ultimate Zone Rating, a great indicator of defensive ability. McCutchen ranked 31st, beehind the likes of Alfonso Soriano.

Gomez is the far superior fielder.

October 3, 2013  05:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I wouldn't consider Gomez the FAR superior defender or base stealer. I'd give him the advantage in each category, but proving his slim margins in defense and baserunning outweigh their production at the plate is an uphill battle.McCutchen is very good defensively, hell he even won a Gold Glove last year. As for base stealing, McCutchen again rates as above average by Baseball Prospectus.

Gomez swiped 40 bags in 47 attempts for a success rate of 85%.

McCutchen stole 27 out of 37, for a success rate of 72%.

Not close. Gomez is far more prolific and successful stealing bases.

October 3, 2013  05:31 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Offensively, McCutchen has a noticeably higher BA (about .35 points higher), OBP, OPS (about .75 points higher). McCutchen also walked 78 times to 103 strikeouts. Gomez? 37 BB to 146 K.I enjoyed the hell out of Gomez's season, but he's not better than McCutchen.

Gomez IS better.

We don't have to wonder how the defense/base stealing lines up with the offense. There's a stat for that, WAR. And yeah I know people hate WAR. That's fine, it can still help in situations like this because it adds offense with defense and base stealing and calculates it all, giving us a nice, comparable figure.

And Gomez pulled a 8.4 WAR in 2013, while McCutchen managed 8.2. About half of Gomez' value came from defensiveWAR, whereas McCutchen's WAR was about 85-90% offensive.

Turns out that Gomez' additional defensive and base stealing prowess actually DOES make him a better player than McCutchen.

Comment #13 has been removed
October 4, 2013  04:05 PM ET

Great TD, MagicSpecs. Good luck in the voting.

October 4, 2013  04:13 PM ET

Its Go-Go, not CarGom.

October 4, 2013  04:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Its Go-Go, not CarGom.

Ok.

October 4, 2013  04:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Gomez IS better.We don't have to wonder how the defense/base stealing lines up with the offense. There's a stat for that, WAR. And yeah I know people hate WAR. That's fine, it can still help in situations like this because it adds offense with defense and base stealing and calculates it all, giving us a nice, comparable figure.And Gomez pulled a 8.4 WAR in 2013, while McCutchen managed 8.2. About half of Gomez' value came from defensiveWAR, whereas McCutchen's WAR was about 85-90% offensive.Turns out that Gomez' additional defensive and base stealing prowess actually DOES make him a better player than McCutchen.

Gomez's season at the plate was a fluke. And you may discount the RBI disparity because Gomez's spot in the order but take a look at this:

Batting 3rd - 29 games - .276 average - 27 RBI
Batting 4th - 19 games - .197 average - 9 RBI
Batting 5th - 48 games - .276 average - 22 RBI

96 games in the middle of the order and just 58 RBI.

Batting 2nd, 6th, & 7th, you know, further away from run producing roles, Gomez batted a ridiculous .355, .348, & .313.

Like I said, he had a great season that was fun to watch, but he's not better than McCutchen.

October 4, 2013  04:24 PM ET

WAR is nonsense as well. Almost as useless as QB ratings.

October 4, 2013  04:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Gomez's season at the plate was a fluke. And you may discount the RBI disparity because Gomez's spot in the order but take a look at this:Batting 3rd - 29 games - .276 average - 27 RBIBatting 4th - 19 games - .197 average - 9 RBIBatting 5th - 48 games - .276 average - 22 RBI96 games in the middle of the order and just 58 RBI.Batting 2nd, 6th, & 7th, you know, further away from run producing roles, Gomez batted a ridiculous .355, .348, & .313.Like I said, he had a great season that was fun to watch, but he's not better than McCutchen.

A fluke? Please. That's a weak argument, man.

The evidence is there and it proves that Gomez was better this year.

 
October 4, 2013  04:48 PM ET

Made an RBI argument to leave Votto off ---->

which means

<---- Auto-vote that way

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