March 4th, 2014

#PepperTrivia

Pepper Trivia has gone to Social Media! Respond to the following question ( Who won the 1945 World Series) to @NikoMLB for a Twitter Handle mention on this weeks Pepper Preseason Podcast! Airing Tomorrow! 

Prime Center Fielders

Center Field has always been a position stacked with talent, but today there are more great players at that position than ever. Players who just missed the cut: Matt Kemp, Austin Jackson, and Carlos Gomez.

5. Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
It was a tough choice for #5 between Carlos Gomez and Choo, but i picked Choo because of his consistency, being an elite player for the past 5 years, while Gomez just broke out a year ago. Also, it was Choo’s ability to get on base that clinched this spot for him, as he finished 2nd in the NL with a .423 OBP and 112 walks, both behind teammate Joey Votto. In 2013, Choo hit .285 with 21 homers and 54 rbi’s, and those stats are likely to rise now that he’s in Texas with their hitter-friendly ballpark.

4. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
Adam Jones is coming off his second straight all-star season, solidifying himself as one of the best center fielders of the game. He has become a big power threat in Baltimore, hitting 32 and 32 homers in the past 2 seasons, and driving in 82 and 108. Jones also is a solid defender.

3. Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
Many people thought that the Yankees huge signing of Ellsbury at 7 years and $153 million is a bad decision, but if Ellsbury can stay healthy, it will be a a bargain. When healthy, Ellsbury is one of the best hitters in the game, as he showed in 2011 when he finished 2nd in AL MVP voting, hitting .321, homering 32 times, and driving in 105. Ellsbury was limited to 134 games in 2013, but still managed to hit .298 with 9 homers and 53 rbi’s. He is also a complete player, stealing 52 bases last year, and is one of best defensive center fielders in baseball.

2. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
After winning NL MVP this past season, McCutchen easily made this list. He single-handedly took the Pirates to the postseason for the first time in 20 years. He steals bases and is a gold glove center fielder. Whats not to like? And not to mention, he is also one of the best hitters in the game, as he hit. 317, homered 21 times and drove in 84 runs in 2013.

1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
There really no argument for this choice. Trout is arguably the best hitter in baseball and is the definition of a 6-tool player. There is nothing this player cannot do, and don’t forget that he is only 22 years old with 2 seasons of experience. And in those 2 seasons, Trout has made 2 all-star games, finished 2nd in AL MVP voting twice, and won rookie of the year. His stats of his first 2 seasons include batting averages of .326 and .323, home run totals of 30 and 27, RBI totals of 83 and 97, and stolen base totals of 49 and 33.

Instant Replay @ Spring Training

Like the AFL (Arizona Fall League), instant replay will be used in Spring training as a trail for the Major League Umpires, Coaches and Players. While Coaches will be less motivated to argue, it will be important to understand the rules and concepts of the new laws. Same goes for Catchers, as coaches have been training their catchers to not block the plate, and how to effectively get the out. I am still trying to comprehend the rules, yet I like them. I think a lot of people will put up their “Red Flags” and say “no”, because there are flaws to these rules. If a play is overturned Out to Base-hit, where do you put the baserunners? Things like this will happen, but It is still 100% better than the old system.