Numbers four and five:
(…if you missed numbers one, two and three, go back a post. Although unlike episodic television, you can fully appreciate each post here without full comprehension and knowledge of previous posts. You’re welcome.)
Aaron Hicks is the second best Center Fielder in the American League (maybe in MLB).
Among American League CF over the past two seasons, Hicks is 2nd in bWAR, fWAR, OPS+, and wRC+. And when you include all MLB CF, he’s virtually tied with Lorenzo Cain in WAR on a per game basis over that span.
I wrote this piece prior to the news of Hicks’ contract extension, which begs a question. $70 million over 7 seasons for a switch-hitting plus center fielder with power and great plate discipline is an underpay. Do we think Hicks’ agents told him the owners are colluding…uh, sorry…more hesitant to spend money, and therefore Hicks would be taking a big risk of testing the market at season’s end?
Giancarlo Stanton is going to be the 2019 American League MVP.
Of course, I don’t know that. But if I were a betting man, I’d bet that I’d get pretty good odds on that and I’d probably drop a few bucks on it, for a few reasons.
Yankee fans don’t realize how good Stanton is. In major league history, there are two players who’ve had more HR, RBI, WAR and a higher OPS+ than Stanton after 9 seasons and before age 29: Eddie Mathews and Albert Pujols.
His 2018 season, .343 OBP/.509 SLG/126 OPS+, was an off year (…?). That’s a pretty damn good season for an off year.
As I’ve noted before, and I’m sure I’ll note again – players are human. And again, it’s always the people who hate “new” stats who act is if players are robots – they are not. The guy relocated, played in a new city which booed him often, at new position(s) and did it injured for a chunk of the year. I’m willing to bet that similar to A-Rod who had a good but sub-par 1st season with the Yankees before coming back with a monster, MVP winning 2nd season, Stanton is going to bounce back – and his “bounce back” potential is monstrous. Especially when you consider that he’s going to be on a team that may win a tough division, and he’ll also have the counting stats that MVP voters love, I’d drop a couple of pesos on it.
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