By La Velle
I know it’s been awhile. I had to whittle down some vacation time that I was going to lose on Jan. 1. So I took a couple weeks off. Went on a trip. Read a very good book about the 1975 Reds (The Machine, by Joe Posnanski).
To be honest, I had reached a point where I needed to drop off the grid for awhile. So it was time to take some time off. Now I’m back. Joe C. is keeping up with Twins news this week while I help out with Gophers coverage. I’ll be back on the Twins on Monday, when the AL MVP is announced.
For now, chew on this:
Noted baseball seamhead Bill James, in the upcoming Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2010, has predicted the top ten players likely to sustain or improve next season. The number on the right is the Strong Seasons Leading Index Score:
|Dioner Navarro||Tampa Bay Rays||26|
|Chris B. Young||Arizona Diamondbacks||25|
|J.J. Hardy||Minnesota Twins||25|
|Russell Martin||Los Angeles Dodgers||24|
|Grady Sizemore||Cleveland Indians||24|
|Dustin Pedroia||Boston Red Sox||23|
|James Loney||Los Angeles Dodgers||23|
|Ian Kinsler||Texas Rangers||23|
|B.J. Upton||Tampa Bay Rays||23|
|Nate McLouth||Atlanta Braves||23|
Here are the ten least likely to sustain or improve:
|Jorge Posada||New York Yankees||8|
|Matt Diaz||Atlanta Braves||9|
|Craig Counsell||Free Agent||9|
|Russell Branyan||Free Agent||11|
|Jason Bartlett||Tampa Bay Rays||11|
|Scott Podsednik||Free Agent||11|
|Derrek Lee||Chicago Cubs||11|
|Kendry Morales||LA Angels of Anaheim||11|
|Ichiro Suzuki||Seattle Mariners||11|
|Rajai Davis||Oakland Athletics||12|
Figured that you’d like the J.J. Hardy part – although I’m guessing you all are rooting for him to improve and not sustain next year!
I would bet against James on Ichiro. I just think the Sultan of Slap will hit forever.
Here’s James’ explanation of his work: “Age is the most obvious indicator of likely movement. We also know that players tend to move back to their historical norms, so we look at last year’s On-base Plus Slugging percentage compared to his career OPS. We also factor in a player’s batting average on balls in play, his strikeout-to-walk ratio, and his speed before distilling all this into a single number that indicates how likely a player is to have a strong season in the coming year.”