When you imagine the awful accident that will someday result from a broken bat, you probably think about the pitcher first, then maybe the baserunner coming down the third base line, then a corner infielder, and then maybe a fan. But, of course, the catcher is closer to that bat than all of them, and it actually only takes a little bit of imagination to see how a broken bat could theoretically endanger a catcher. Or, if you have no imagination, a GIF.
The tater trots for May 26: three walkoffs and a season-best quick trot from Bryce Harper. Quite the day.
Saturday was a busy day. There were three walkoff home runs, a pair of super-quick trots, a first career home run and more. Chances are, no matter what game you were watching, you saw something pretty great.
The tater trots for April 25: Cespedes bests Konerko and Rolen keeps pace with Hudson.
After watching so many home runs over the last 2+ years, I've come to have a number of favorite players to watch on their tater trots: Scott Rolen, Billy Butler, Adrian Beltre, David Ortiz, and plenty more. It's always nice, then, when a number of them all hit home runs on the same night, like many did on Wednesday. Top that off with some of the big flies that we saw last night, it was a good day for home runs.
Ned Yost says he wants his first baseman to steal 10 bases in 2011--is that realistic, or insanity?
Spring Training is always good for a few canned stories. I don’t know about you, but I have lost count of how many guys are in the best shape of their lives as well as how many guys are just working on things to get ready for the season. It may take the players a few weeks to get game ready, but their clichés are in mid-season form right out of the gate. So, when a manager comes out and says that his hefty first baseman has a chance of stealing ten bases in 2011, you take notice.
If Billy Butler is to ever realize his power potential, he will need to change his approach at the plate.
Among qualified first basemen last summer, Billy Butler’s .318 batting average ranked him third, just behind Joey Votto’s .324 BA and Miguel Cabrera’s average of .328. That’s a good foundation for fantasy, but Butler lagged in the power categories. His 15 home runs ranked him 20th out of 24 players and his 78 RBI were good for 18th place. While he was the best hitter on the Royals, his results were a mixed bag for fantasy owners who undoubtedly enjoyed the batting average, but wished he would realize his power potential. Still, it was quite a productive year as his career-best .309 TAv ranked him eighth among qualified first basemen.
Entering the 2010 season, Butler’s goal was to cut down on his strikeout totals. Given he whiffed a career worst once every 5.9 at bats the previous year, it was an admirable goal. Under the tutelage of new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, Butler worked on improving his contact. The emphasis wasn’t on type of contact. (i.e. Hitting with more power or driving the ball to the pull field.) Rather it was just on making contact. Period.
In the last of his preseason "Hot Spots," Michael Street looks at the underappreciated 1B Billy Butler, the increasing flexibility of DH Hideki Matsui, and how Scott Rolen and Juan Francisco fit in to Cincinnati's 3B picture.
For this final preseason Hot Spots column, I’m focusing on underdrafted players, anticipating our shift to targeting undervalued players during the regular season. There’s no better place to start than Kansas City, whose offense is projected by BP to score 741 runs, fourth-worst in the AL, making fantasy owners overlook Royals players.
One who doesn’t deserve such a snub is Billy Butler, whose 32.3 VORP in 2009 was second-best on the team. He’ll need to reach his 80thPECOTA percentile to beat that VORP in 2010, but even his 50th percentile has fantasy value. Though he isn’t a slugger, Butler’s 14% strikeout rate and 8% walk rate from 2007-9 show his strong BA contributions. If he can recapture the patience he exhibited in 2008, when he had a career-best 12.9% K rate, Butler could hit .300 again in 2010; his 60th percentile would get him there, while also cresting .500 SLG.