Where Sun-Ui has been :)

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Hey guys, sorry for the loooong absence.  Back to the entry.

So, like I said, I had been in Korea for more than a month,
and I’ve finally got myself together enough to post an entry.  So:

Well, while I was in Korea, I got to see a few KBO (Korean
Baseball Organization) games.  The
highlight was 23 year old Korean phenom Ryu Hyun Jin (who had his worst outing
of the season the day I watched him. 
Seven innings, two runs.  Yes, he’s
that good.)  In Korea, the teams have a
home city, but they take the name of a company: Samsung Lions, SK Wyverns, and
Ryu’s team, the Hanwha Eagles.  My
grandpa, who is a high up in Hanwha, got me a signed ball and seats right behind
home plate to watch Ryu in his home city, Daejeon.  An impromptu scouting report:

 

He reminds me of Lester when he pitches: easy lefty windup
that somehow generates low-90 heat, pinpoint control: their pitching windups
are carbon copies.  His circle change is
literally devastating.  Could be a David
Wells type, without the booze.  His
stamina is top-notch (almost always makes it to the ninth, bar a few outings),
but for a twenty-three year old Hanwha is overworking him.  Easily the best Korean pitcher alive, only a
couple rivals.

I also got to attend two more games, this time in
Seoul.  Very fun.  The atmosphere is different: beer is almost
non-existent: everyone is just enjoying the game.  There are casual watchers in the bleachers,
crazy home fans along the first base line, and crazy road fans along the third base
line.  Since Korea is smaller than
America, traveling to watch your home team on the road isn’t a strange
event.  And while America has
player-chosen walkup songs, Korean fans make songs for the players.  Awesome.  MLBlogs won’t let me post the pictures, so hit this up on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53296235@N05/

And before I end this, a few more things:

-I hate Damon, but it would be nice to see him back: a
veteran spark?

-Votto.  MVP.  Triple Crown. 
Let’s do this.  I’ve always liked
him at first in my fantasy teams.

-Kalish and Doubrount are pretty impressive.  I have high hopes.

I’m Back!

Sorry for the one month absence (Sun-Ui, btw).  I was in Korea visiting relatives.  I had a great time, and after a couple days I will have an entry up again (got to see the Korean phenom in person).  Thanks for your patience 🙂
-Sun-Ui

Against All Odds

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The current starting left fielder
for the Boston Red Sox weighed 70 pounds and stood an imposing 4 feet and 8
inches going into high school.  By senior
year, he had grown nine inches and doubled his weight, but was still just 5
foot 5 and 150 pounds. 

He enrolled in Santa Clara University
for college.  They failed to recognize
Nava’s talent, and they cut him from his college team.  Unable to give up on baseball, he became the
team’s equipment manager, photocopying papers, entering data, grabbing fly
balls during BP, and sometimes doing the laundry.  But through all of this, he forced himself to
 go through grueling training, gaining 50
pounds of lean body mass and decreasing his 60 yard dash time.  After two years, he left Santa Clara because
he and his family couldn’t afford the tuition.  After a year of starring at his new junior college,
the College of San Mateo, and becoming a Junior college All-American, Santa
Clara offered him a full scholarship to come back. 

The next year, out of college, he
went undrafted; just another sign of the little faith awarded to Nava.  He signed with the Chico Outlaws of the
Golden Baseball League, an independent baseball team.  After a tryout, he was cut, a feeling that he
was likely accustomed to, but he was brought back after a year.  In 2007, the only time the Chico team under
its current name has won a title to date, he hit .371, racked up 12 HR, and
managed a 1.100 OPS: sure signs that a player was toying with the
opposition.  Baseball America named him the
top independent league prospect (a title well deserved) in 2007.  Toronto watched him at a tryout, and
dismissed him.  The Red Sox bought his
rights from the Outlaws for a dollar.  So
far, it’s paid off.

In April, Mike Andrews, the
designer, developer, executive editor, and president of soxprospects.com, a
site that tracks the top Red Sox prospects in Minor League Baseball, wrote a
column for ESPNBoston about Daniel Nava. 
Nava was a true unknown, but Andrews proves that he’s easily been the
best Red Sox minor leaguer over the last two seasons.  If he had the stats he had in MiLB in the
MLB, he’d be an easy MVP.  In Lancaster,
a Red Sox minor league affiliate, he hit .341, and then in Salem and Portland
(the Red Sox’s Single-A and Double-A affiliates) he hit .352. 

The first two months of Daniel
Nava’s 2010 season was spent in Triple-A, a step away from the big
leagues.  Finally, after more than a
decade of proving himself over and over to skeptics, he made it to the biggest
stage: the MLB.

His day started off as one to
forget: in left field, he bobbled an RBI hit, which did not do much to endear
himself to the legendarily serious Red Sox fans.  But when he took his first ever pitch in the
MLB with the bases loaded and nobody out deep, all that was erased.  In the bullpen, Manny Delcarmen made a
fantastic grab to catch the home run, while Daniel Nava sprinted around the
bases. 

So maybe that’s just how it
ends.  A player with incredible talent,
ignored by every single scout, college, MLB, or independent, that came his way,
just plowing on.  He never gave up, cut
from his college and independent teams, cut from the tryouts, he just kept
trying.  And perhaps the person himself
put it best.

“Nothing was handed to me,” says
Nava.  “I knew I had to do my job on the
field before that was a possibility.”

And you did, Nava.  You certainly did.  
Signing out,

Sun-Ui             

All Star Votes and Trade Deadlines

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Sorry I’ve been gone lately, haven’t been able to find the
time to cobble together a coherent entry. 
But here I am 😀 Aren’t you glad?

So, here’s the deal with our Sox, starting with the All Star
Game.

Six members of this outstanding team have been selected to this
stupid waste of time
appear in this honor. 
However, only a few will be able to be on the roster due to God’s
rage
Natural causes Adrian Beltre Injuries.  And even fewer will get to step on the field
in Anaheim, unfortunately, because most of the players are backups.  So, sorry Dustin, Victor, Clay, and maybe
David, but you probably won’t get to play. 
Lester, Beltre: hope for the best. 

But there’s another point I want to make.  Obvious All-Star Poor Kevin Youkilis hasn’t
been selected to the All Star Game, despite his outstanding numbers.  However, he is a candidate on the Final
Vote.  And this is where you come in,
fellow fans.

DON’T VOTE.

That’s right, you heard me right.  Boycott the Final Vote.  If a player like Youkilis misses the All Star
Game, that just proves how ridiculous the All Star Game is.  If Votto misses it, even better.  The All Star Game is nothing more than a
publicity stunt.  A fun one, sure, but
one that robs players of valuable rest. 
The system needs a big overhauling in that the fans voting makes no
sense.  There’s a reason Mark Teixeira
was even in the running to be a starter. 
The Yankees fan base is probably by far the biggest in the MLB.  Therefore, most starters will be from big
teams.  Yup.  Sad, but true.  That’s the end of today’s tirade, folks.  Tune in tomorrow for another.

 

So.  It’s nearing July
31st, and we all know what that means…

TRADEDEADLINETRADEDEADLINEBLOCKBUSTERTRADESBLOCKBUSTERTRADES!!!
And best of all, lots of refreshing mlb.com for the latest news.  Yes.  I
can’t wait. 
I’ve been thinking about what moves are in store for the Red Sox.  And here are my ideas, ranging from wishful
thinking to possible.  In no particular
order, for you conspiracy theorists.

1. Matt Kemp

I’ve mentioned this before, and the more I think about it
the more I like it.  Ellsbury is quickly
losing popularity thanks to his absence and the excellence of his replacements
(No one’s gonna forget Darnell and Daniel’s debuts, and Patterson has crushed
two homeruns tonight at the Trop).  And
why not strike while Kemp’s value is lowest? 
He’s a year younger than Ellsbury, and has a higher ceiling.  If we get him including Ells in the deal, it
shouldn’t be too hard, just an extra prospect or two.  If we don’t, we can trade Ells in the
offseason for more prospects, or perhaps next season once his value is
raised. 

Probability: 2/10

Happiness: 10/10

 

2. Adrian Gonzalez

Well, of course.  Are
you surprised?  Red Sox fans need no
explanation.  For you non Sox fans: it
all depends on if we can put together a deal without Buchholz, who is
definitely untouchable.

Probability: 4/10

Happiness: 7/10

 

3. Prince Fielder

Unlikely, I know.  But
I suppose we could make a play.  He’s
younger than A-Gon, although a worse defender. 
And he’s having an off year, which lowers his value.  I still firmly believe that good players are
here to stay (which resulted in the complete failure of my fantasy team, as
Greinke and King Felix were spectacular bombs). 
So why not go for it?  He has
historic power, that much is obvious.  We
could be an outside contender.

Probability: 3/10

Happiness: 8/10

 

4. Chris Snyder

I heard that the interim GM for Arizona called Theo offering
Chris.  Theo declined, saying that he
wanted to save money for a bigger deal. 
But if one didn’t fall through, we could get Snyder as a short term, or
maybe even long term, option at backstop. 
With Montero raking, Arizona has itself a situation, and we could be the
answer.

Probability: 6/10

Happiness: 6/10

 

5. Miguel Montero

Harder to acquire compared to Snyder, and he’s relatively
untouchable, but it’s worth a try, seeing as he’s better.

Probability: 4/10

Happiness: 7/10

 

6. Kurt Suzuki

We could get him, that’s for sure.  And it would be great.  In 222 Abs (If he was hitting leadoff, that’s
a third of a season) he’s hit 10 HR with 35 RBI.  Great power numbers, fosho.  But he’s an unlikely choice, because he goes
against Theo’s philosophy: OBP, OBP, OBP. 
He has a .308 OBP on the season and a .732 OPS: not numbers Bill James
would approve of.

Probability: 2/10

Happiness: 4/10

 

7. Chris Ianetta

Interesting choice. 
He’s not paid much.  So far, he’s
peaked at 24 and has gone into a dive since. 
But that 2007 season was outstanding. 
In about half a season, he was on pace for 36 HR, 130 RBI as well as a
.264 BA and a .900 OPS.  Numbers that the
Theo/James regime WOULD approve of.  But
last year, in 289 AB he had the same power numbers, but a .228 BA and an OPS
down 90 points.  He could be gotten for
one or two prospects, and could either bomb or pan out: not a reliable long
term choice, but possible. 

Probability: 4/10

Happiness: 6/10

 

8. David DeJesus

He’s 30, so he’s just entering his prime, and is having a
career year.  He’s hitting .327, with a
.400 OBP and a .860 OPS.  Would take a
lot, but could pay off well.  He’s a
great player, of course.  His defense is
amazing.  So he appeals to all.  Good. 

Probability: 5/10

Happiness: 8/10

 

9. Kosuke Fukudome

Internet is down, so I can’t back my words up, and I’ve run
a blank on the guy.  All I remember is that
he’s good.

Probability: 5/10

Happiness: 6/10

 

10. Albert Pujols

Just kidding.

Probability: 0/10

Happiness: 10/10

Thanks again for reading you guys.  You mean a ton to me.  Make sure to comment!

Signing out,

Sun-Ui

Going to Be Gone

What’s going on everyone,

I am going to be off from MLBlogs for a few days. I’m going to DC soon and my family and I are starting to prepare. Sooooo I will probably post on Monday with a piece on the Orioles. Stay Tuned!

 

Signing “in”,

Sami K

Pinstripes

So going off of my entry from yesterday, I think I will continue this whole “team overview” project. Today, I will turn my attention the Yanks. I mentioned in our bio that I am an eighth grader playing for our cities freshman baseball team. I also play in a much smaller league. Now, here’s where the drama comes in. I am a Sox fan but I was the starting center fielder for the… YANKEES. So I sorta have a soft spot for them. Speaking of starting centerfielders, I’ll start off with their new addition Curtis Granderson. Although he was placed on the 15 day DL on May 2nd, he is nearly on pace to reach his fantastic, power burst from last year (30 hrs, .249 BA with 20 stolen bases). Granderson has been an on and off player. He’s at his finest when he is batting against righties at home at night on grass in June against the Red Sox when the count is 1-0. Then Granderson grows into a copy of Albert Pujols.

The Yankee offense. Ahhh. What a historic title. Murderer’s Row from the stacked offense from the ’27 Yankee lineup. This year’s offense isn’t eye popping (not like the Red Sox… take that she-fan). They rank sixth in hits, twentieth in doubles, sixth in homers, and seventh in batting average. Not amazing. Robinson Cano has been there source of life throughout the season. Cano is the best second baseman in the AL and he has been playing like it. He’s posted 16 hrs with 54 RBIs and a .353 BA. In my last post, I said Youk should go up for MVP? How about Cano. He’s on pace for at least 30 hrs and 100 RBIs with a plus .320 BA. Last year’s sparks Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez have a combined 25 hrs. with a .258 BA. They aren’t on pace to hit 30 hrs. The Yanks need those bats to go with the contact from Swisher, Cano and Jeter. 

The Yank’s pitching has been really good so far this year. Their overall stats have not been very good but their individual pitchers have been somewhat REDONK (my new official word). C.C. Sabathia has really been coming through for these Yankees. He has gone 9-3 with a 3.49 ERA. A lower ERA would be nice but still a very nice season so far. Now these two pitchers were two that I never expected to do well. Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte. They have combined for a 19-4 record with a an ERA of 3.15. They have held together this rotation like Lackey, Lester and Buckholz. I have a love-hate relationship with the Yanks. Right now. I hate them with a passion.

 

Signing “in”,

Sami K  

Adrian Beltre!

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So. 

Yup.

Right.  Right.  Should probably write the blog post now.  Mhmm.

So, because I’ve been running out of things to write about,
I’ve decided to take on a project.  Every
day, I’ll take a MLB player and talk about him. 
Today, you’ll be treated to a tirade/praising of Adrian Beltre.  With Beltre, I think a praising will be in
line.

Where are all of the Beltre haters now?  That’s right, there are none.  Adrian Beltre has just continued to
impress.  I know that you know (first
time I’ve written that by accident, kudos to me :D) that Beltre has an
obscenely high average.  That would be
correct.  But did you know that he’s
hitting just a couple points below .350? 
That’s good for second best in the MLB. 
Yup.  The player that had
struggled to clear .300 for seasons is doing it with ease. 

Now, Adrian Beltre is quite the guy.  Not only has he endured ups and downs in his
career (I mean Mark Prior-ish ups and downs. 
He hit 45 HR one season, then struggled to hit 20).  And he seems to explode whenever someone
touches his head. 

=>

All of which naturally combines to make him one of my
favorite players.  How can you hate
someone that irrational?  What’s
that?  It’s easy?  Well, you’re right, but still.  He’s ADRIAN BELTRE. 

But none of those are my favorite things about him.  No, for that we have to go back to the
numbers.  Yup, the dreaded stats.  Math-haters, cover your eyes. 

Did you know he hits over .300 with two strikes and
swinging?  He has a higher average than
former MVP Dustin Pedroia when he chases a pitch with two strikes.  Either he has some serious contact talent, or
the pitchers never learn.  Judging from
those homeruns crushed past the Green Monster hit from one knee, I’m gonna have
to go with the former.    

So.  Hopefully you
just figured out that Adrian Beltre is a seriously talented player (has hit
over 40 HR, has Gold Glove defense, and might even clear .350 in the batting
average department).  Otherwise, you
learned that Adrian Beltre has serious anger management issues (but he has,
apparently, gotten over it somewhat, so, okay, he’s not Carlos Zambrano).  Either way, you should have a new favorite
player.

Signing out,

Sun-Ui