Who are the guys dragging their teams down so far that they could easily be replaced on the waiver wire? Here's a look around the diamond.
My semiannual Replacement-Level Killers series puts the spotlight on the worst holes in contenders' lineups, as well as the possible remedies they might take to avoid letting such subpar production destroy their chances to reach October. I make no claims for this companion series being so noble in purpose. Because bad baseball so often makes for good copy, it's more fun to hunt the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel to find the positions where players' contributions could be considered the worst in the majors, regardless of a team's status as a contender. What follows is an "all-star" team of players who have produced tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just a soft breeze running through their team's bank account. These are the Vortices of Suck.
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A sudden abundance of options doesn't always mean an abundance of talent, but Michael sifts through this week's news to find three new VPs, stealing only a few from Rob McQuown.
In the week before the trade deadline, fantasy moves and news usually come from pennant-race wheeling and dealing, but this week’s news consisted mostly of injuries, promotions, and demotions. My next column will undoubtedly reflect some of those yet-to-be-made deadline deals, but for now, I’ll look at some moves that have already been made while repaying my colleagueRob McQuown by poaching a few outfield qualifiers.
Entering the All-Star break, Michael graduates one VP that's red-hot, drops another who's ice-cold, and generally contemplates Value Pick extremes.
The All-Star break begins today, marking the traditional—if not the actual—midway point in the season. Cutting against this equilibrial grain, Value Picks looks this week at some extremes, both in performance and in owner reactions to those performances.
Throwing out a net for the best players expected to be drafted from the best college baseball teams.
If college baseball is going to sell its product, they're going to have to start with the players. David Price and Stephen Strasburg do more for college baseball's popularity than the 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs ever could. One of the advantages of the College World Series is that the draft has already happened-they're in a position to sell tickets based on the players that will take the field (last year it was Buster Posey, Gordon Beckham, Jason Castro, Yonder Alonso, and Jemile Weeks, to name a few). This year, you know the CWS officials will be hoping that Tony Gwynn can lead a miracle Aztecs run to Omaha on Strasburg's back, but that could be asking too much.
Jump into an evaluation of the top programs in the country as Bryan ranks the NCAA Top 25.
This spring, while I continue to search for new ways to cover college baseball, I will nevertheless do one traditional exercise for anyone on this beat by ranking the national landscape to provide you with my own top 25 list. Yet, as I spent the offseason searching for the best schools to fill out the list and the best way to organize them, I began to see a few clear separations. More than specific rankings, there are what I see as relatively clear-cut tiers. Six programs stood out as the cream of the crop, 12 more are schools that are just a break or two away from contention, and after that initial 18 the final seven that make up my list are interchangeable with the bevy of near-misses that I'm sure will gain consideration or make it onto the list at some point during the season.