By now, most of you probably are yelling about your NCAA brackets or enjoying the first full day of Spring. Well, we are literally just hours away from the start of the 2014 MLB regular season. The Arizona Diamondbacks, who were shut out 5-0 by Team Australia yesterday (or was it this morning?) get ready to enter 2014 without their best starting pitcher from a year ago. While it is depressing news for sure, our spirits can always be lifted by these three important words: Baseball is Back.
Ryan Morrison has a great article up at insidethezona regarding the roots and current standing of the Australian Baseball League. He spoke with ABL General Manager Ben Foster and Daniel Amodio from Baseball Operations regarding the league’s progress and what to expect in the future. It was interesting to note that besides American Minor Leaguers that participate in the ABL, there are players from New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan and Japan that go to hone their skills. It’s clear that with more American players heading Down Under and the fact the regular season begins there this weekend how much Major League Baseball values this part of the globe.
At si.com, Jay Jaffe and Cliff Corcoran debate the most overrated and underrated players in baseball. One of Corcoran’s most overrated players is none other than Mark Trumbo. Summing up his feelings, he writes:
Impressive counting stats, weak rate stats, lousy on-base percentage, no or negative value in the field or on the bases
That’s pretty much what all critics have been saying about one of the newest D’backs. Jaffe also agrees Trumbo is overrated but feels that his stats aren’t terrible considering the amount of money he made during his time with the Los Angeles Angels. For what it’s worth, Corcoran also feels that Zack Greinke is overrated.
Ryan Potter at beyondtheboxscore previewed the D’backs in 2014. He recaps all the moves the team made in the offseason and made Archie Bradley his Player to Watch. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA system projects them to finish fourth at 79-83, ahead only of the Colorado Rockies. Ryan agrees with this assessment because of the tough NL West and the news that Patrick Corbin will miss the entire season.
Finally I leave you with this. Let’s go D’backs!