A few Nats get completely disrespected by MLB Network’s Top 100 List

MLB Network concluded their Top 100 list last night, naming the Top 10 Players to finish off the list.

How is the Top 100 list compiled? MLB Network’s research team, in conjunction with the show’s producers, use statistical analysis to rank the Top 100 players in MLB for the 2019 season. (It’s different from the Shredder, which is used to determine the network’s annual ranking lists for the Top 10 players at each position.)

Let’s take a quick look at which Nats made the cut, and who got absolutely disrespected by the analysts:

#89-Sean Doolittle (Last Year: Unranked)

Sean Doolittle

No doubt Doolittle is finally being considered one of the more elite closers in the game right now. A few pitchers that were ranked higher than him: Kenley Jansen, Ohtani, and Mike Clevinger. Ohtani supposedly won’t even touch the pitchers mound this year, and will bat occasionally as a DH later on in the season. Is that enough to bump him higher than a healthy closer? I guess so.

#84-Trea Turner (Last Year: #47)

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Jean Segura barely edges out Turner and nabs #83 somehow, and I don’t understand the huge drop in ranking for Trea. Turner has had some really nice moments, and he’s had some bad spots as well. Still young, still a ton of potential, but he hasn’t established himself as a consistent stud yet. But a 40 spot drop seems drastic. He still hit .270 with close to 20 bombs on a team that underperformed. This seems like too big of a drop.

#80-Stephen Strasburg (Last Year: #28)

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Strasburg has had a roller-coaster career. One season he’ll be on fire, the next he’ll be struck by the injury bug and find it hard to stay on the field. Strasburg’s 2017 season was freaking SOLID. 15-4, 2.52 ERA, and his own version of MJ’s “Flu Game” in the playoffs

Last season was not great for Stras, and I think the league continues to overlook him after his initial entry was filled with so much hype. But to go from 28th to 80th?????!! Especially being completely healthy heading into a season with a loaded pitching rotation and re-tooled team. Another head-scratcher.

#78-Patrick Corbin (Last Year: Unranked)

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Nats fans are going to like what they see out of Corbin. He’s a guy coming off a really strong 2018, and earning himself that big contract. I love having his lefty arm in the rotation. I’m fine with this ranking. We’ll have more to say about this as the season progresses.

#36-Juan Soto (Last Year:Unranked)

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Again the logic here is not adding up to me. Soto put together an INCREDIBLE 2018 campaign, of that there is no doubt. But is his freshman year enough to vault him into the top 40 players of the LEAGUE?? I love Soto, I think he is going to be fantastic for a long time, but can we make that declaration already? They have Soto higher than guys like George Springer, Charlie Blackmon, Cody Bellinger, etc. I love the enthusiasm but this seems a little much.

#21-Anthony Rendon (Last Year: #35)

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I’m perfectly okay with this ranking. Rendon had stealthily moved up the ranks season after season and he’s one of those sleeper talents. I like a 14 spot rise for him after putting together yet another strong season.

#5-Max Scherzer (Last Year: #11)

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Mad Max is the heartbeat of the Washington Nationals. A grunting, swearing, sweaty, workhorse of a heartbeat. He IS a top 5 player in this league. On his pitching days he is the best player on the field, he controls the game entirely.

All hail Max.

Agent Zero ready to set Big 3 League on FIRE

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Today’s current crop of Wiz fans may have forgotten just how dominant Gil was in his prime. The man would also have THRIVED in today’s social media dominated NBA with his wild thoughts and antics. This guy was a WEIRDO.

Don’t sleep on the Big3 league. Old studs, reignited by competition again, trash-talk, etc.

I will be SHOCKED if Gil doesn’t put at least 50 shots per game.

Also let’s not forget this man was getting paid long after he stopped playing for the Wiz.

All hail Hibachi.

Where does Ryan Zimmerman rank among MLB 1st Basemen?

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In November of 2018 Will Leitch of MLB.com wrote an article about the Top 20 First Basemen and ranked Ryan Zimmerman #15. This put Zim in front of guys like Josh Bell, Justin Bour, and Brandon Belt. This astounded me. I remember the pretty incredible 2017 campaign for Zim wherein he batted .303 in 144 games. But here we are in 2019, and the 34-year-old is coming off an 85-game .264 average season with one year left on his Nats contract.

It has been chronicled heavily on the podcast( Click here to download) of Mike and I’s disdain for the rope that the Nats give to Zim. So it begs the question: Is Zim the worst first baseman starting in the MLB this upcoming season? Or am I just a know-nothing jilted fan talking out of my ass? Let’s take a look.

The first thing to do is start with the nerds. Let’s take a look at the projections:

2019 projections

As you can see the bottom is what Ryan did in 2018, and the five lines above that are possible projections by various sources. The consensus appears to be that he will have a pretty similar season to 2018 numbers-wise, obviously a bigger sample size with him in theory playing more than 85 games in 2019.

Personally, I like Composite’s projections, so let’s use them as an example:

.266 avg, 21 HR, 57 R, 68 RBI in 406 at-bats.

I want to start in the NL East, and look around the other first basemen inside the division. This is based on MLB.com’s projected depth-chart as of today:

Braves-Freddie Freeman

Phillies-Rhys Hoskins

Marlins-Pete O’Brien

Mets-Todd Frazier (but really Pete Alonso)

Immediately place Freddie Freeman and Rhys Hoskins WAY above Zim in pretty much any sort of category. Now we are left with Pete O’Brien (who sounds like the guy that helps me with my taxes) and the shell of Todd Frazier with one of the top Mets prospects Pete Alonso waiting on the wings.

Here’s the Pete Alonso mixtape in case you were wondering:

Don’t bother looking up Peter O’Brien, just know that he may one of the few Zim has beat. So far the only first baseman I would rank lower than Zim is O’Brien.

Current Ranking of Zim: 4th (of 5 Teams)

Now let’s dive into more of the National League starting with the NL Central:

Cubs-Anthony Rizzo

Reds-Joey Votto

Brewers-Jesus Aguilar

Pirates-Josh Bell

Cardinals-Paul Goldschmidt

The Central is LOADED with First Base talent. Immediately place Rizzo and Goldy above Zim. Votto is up there too, especially for Fantasy Baseball owners. That leaves a non-household name in Aguilar, and Bell.

Aguilar has CRAZY pop, 35 dingers last year, and in 2018 really broke out. His potential immediately vaults him above Zim.

Bell is an interesting case because I would put him in a similar boat to Zim, and the projections do as well. Bell underachieved last year coming off a pretty solid 2017. I think the power numbers will be better than Zim, as well as the average.

Current Ranking of Zim: 9th (of 10 Teams)

I’ll zip through the NL West

D-Backs-Jake Lamb

Rockies-Daniel Murphy

Dodgers-Max Muncy

Padres-Eric Hosmer

Giants-Brandon Belt

Murph and Muncy are easily placed above Zim. Hosmer is probably looking at a 20+ bombs .270+ avg season as well, so put him up there too.

Jake Lamb had solid power numbers in 2016 and 2017, and last year wasn’t able to do much only playing in only 56 games due to injury. His power should be back, so he should double (maybe triple) Zim’s homer numbers. Belt is very very close to Zim. I will actually give Zim the SLIGHT edge for Zim because I think he can beat Belt out this year.

Current Ranking of Zim: 13th (of 15 Teams)

The American League! Let’s go to the AL East, where things may surprise you a bit.

Orioles-Chris Davis (You could make a case for Mancini)

Red Sox-Mitch Moreland 

Yankees-Luke Voit

Rays-Yandy Diaz

Blue Jays-Justin Smoak

For all the hype the AL East gets, the position of First Base isn’t loaded here. I would put Zim above Chris Davis, but lower than Mancini. Moreland and Yandy Diaz aren’t great options either.

Let’s go ahead and say Mancini represents the O’s in this scenario. Zim ranks higher than Diaz and Moreland to me.

Current Ranking of Zim: 16th (of 20 Teams)

On to the AL Central:

White Sox-Jose Abreu

Indians-Jake Bauers/Carlos Santana

Tigers-Miguel Cabrera

Royals-Ryan O’Hearn

Twins-CJ Cron

The ghost of Miguel Cabrera is still better than the ghost of Ryan Zimmerman, so I’ll give him the edge.

The Cleveland situation is a tad unfair because the Indians plan to platoon between Bauers and Santana, but Santana is still better numbers-wise than Zim.

As for Ryan O’Hearn and CJ Cron, O’Hearn is young and projecting for a .250-type season. Cron is coming off a 30 bomb year that earned him a spot with the Twins after being released on waivers by Tampa Bay. So put Zim over O’Hearn, but slightly behind Cron.

Current Ranking of Zim: 20th (of 25 teams)

Our last division is the AL West:

Astros-Yuli Gurriel

Angels-Albert Pujols/Justin Bour

Athletics-Matt Olson

Mariners-Ryon Healy

Rangers-Joey Gallo

Here’s a fun shift the Astros did on Gallo

Gallo, Olson, and Gurriel are easily picked higher than Zim on any sort of fantasy or real life rankings. Pujols and Bour will probably share some time at first, but gotta think Bour will get more actual starts there and Pujols nears the end of his career.

Honestly, the only guy you could put lower than Zim here is Healy. A strong 2017 lead into a mediocre 2018 for Healy.

So after all of that here is where we stand:

Final Ranking of Zim: 24th (of 30 teams)

Looking through the Nats pipeline, there isn’t a lot of excitement at the first base position either once you get past Zim and Matt Adams. I was wrong, Zim is not the WORST first baseman in the MLB, but it still doesn’t look great.

Let’s take a look at a player on the list of Nats Non-Roster Invitees: Tres Barrera

C-Tres Barrera

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Per FederalBaseball.com, the 24-year-old Catcher (drafted in the 6th round in 2016 by the Nats) is “solid defensively”, handles pitchers well, and leads the defense.

In 2018, Barrera hit .263, with 6 bombs, 24 RBI, and 68 hits in 259 AB’s. Barrera currently sits 14th in the Nats prospect list per MLB.com (list was from 2018, new prospect list comes out this month). The consensus seems to be his bat has pop, but sometimes pulls the ball way too much and doesn’t have much self-control at the plate.

As you can tell in this video, he’s a strong dude with a lot of raw power, the question will be if he can be consistent and work his way up through the Nats ranks.

Overall this seems to just be a good experience builder for Barrera, don’t expect him to be on the big squad for a few years, if ever.

Let’s take a look at a player on the list of Nats Non-Roster Invitees: Henderson Alvarez

RHP-Henderson Alvarez

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If you recall, and likely you don’t, the Nats signed Alvarez to a minor league deal back in November of last year. Alvarez, 28, pitched in 2018 with the Phillies.

He had a 4.30 ERA in 14 2/3 innings for Philly. His last GOOD season was in 2014 where he went 12-7, 2.65 ERA in 187 innings pitched (per Federalbaseball.com).

A lot of old glory years for this guy, including a no-hitter:

This is purely one of those low-risk invites that could lead to some depth pitching-wise if needed. The guy throws a Fastball, Sinker, Curve, Slider, and Changeup, mainly relying on his Fastball and Sinker.

Basically, this is a guy who’s promising career was derailed by injuries, and now has a chance to showcase himself with a Nats spring training squad. My guess is the Nats could stash him somewhere in AAA and wait for the inevitable injury bug to strike the rotation at some point and have Alvarez give the team a few starts.

Overall, nothing to be too excited about, but keep an eye on Alvarez’s numbers here in Spring as he hopes to climb his way back to the big time.

UPDATED: League says NOPE no travel for Beal

UPDATE: Sam Dekker weighs in:

Here is a look at the play everybody’s been talking about:

 

I don’t care what the league says, there is literally no way in the world that wasn’t a travel. I love Brad, but you can’t possibly watch that play and think “nope, that is clean”.

Bryce unfollows multiple Caps players

Let’s take a look at Bryce’s twitter:

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Of the 24 follows for Bryce, only Mike Trout and Braden Holtby make the list. This is clearly a sign that he’s signing with Philly right? RIGHT?!

Episode 20 – (Super Bowl, Capitals, Wizards, “Smoothie Review”)

Have you ever ordered something off of a Facebook Ad or similar then regretted it immediately upon receiving that said thing? Take a listen and find out what Ben’s “Fast Blast” smoothies have turned out to be. In addition, Super Bowl recap, Wizards trade deadline and more…

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

SUBSCRIBE – RATE – REVIEW!

TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Recapping Super Bowl LIII – (22:40)
  • Capitals Improving Play – (43:20)
  • Wizards Trades and New Faces  – (1:00:00)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears” – (1:26:16)
  • Ben’s “Fast Blast” Smoothie Review – (1:48:15)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 19 – (Bruce Allen, “KFC Food Review”)

Breaking down the first Bruce Allen presser in over 588 days took us a bit but we took down each question asked by reporters down in Mobile, Alabama. For our next food review we went with the KFC Limited Time “Famous Spicy Chicken Bowl” for only $3. You cannot beat a deal like that, plus the fact it was one of the best fast food items we have every had in our over 27 years of existence on planet earth. Take a listen…

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

SUBSCRIBE – RATE – REVIEW!

TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Bruce Allen Presser Breakdown – (28:20)
  • Capitals Half-Way Point – (1:34:33)
  • Wizards Coming Around?  – (1:43:26)
  • Food Review “KFC Famous Spicy Bowl” – (1:54:03)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears/Pine-Pony Express” – (2:05:31)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill