Josh Hamilton is an amazing story. His homerun contest explosion was epic. He is on my fantasy team, so I love the guy's production...but didya know that he's only 10th in the AL in OPS? When not at the hitter-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington, his OPS is .777. He's an excellent player, but this notion that he has wrapped up the MVP award needs some reconsideration. (His teammate, Milton Bradley leads the league with an OPS more than .100 points more than Hamilton.)
The Red Sox have 3 players in the Top 7 in AL OPS. (Drew, Ramirez, Youkilis)
The White Sox have 2 outfielders in the Top 6 in AL OPS. (Dye and Quentin)
Speaking of the White Sox, many had speculated earlier in the year if Jim Thome was in serious decline. Thome is 13th in the AL in OPS. Much like Jason Giambi (who is 8th), Thome still has more in the tank than many of us thought he had.
Ian Kinsler has stolen 25 bases out of 26 attempts. Alex Rodriguez has stolen 15 bases in 16 attempts.
The starting outfield for the Arizona D-backs has OPS numbers of .786 (Upton), .721 (Young), and Byrnes (.641). Do you think they wish they hadn't of given Carlos Quentin (.929) away to get a Double-A 1st baseman named Chris Carter? (It should be noted that
Carter was packaged in the deal that brought Dan Haren, so that part helps a bit.)
You look at the Top 15 in NL OPS and all the names seem about right, except for Ryan Ludwick. This 30 year-old outfielder was drafted by the A's in 1999, but has bounced around with a number of teams, until last season finding a home as a platoon option for the Cards. This year he is slugging nearly .600 and doing it almost completely under the radar.
I have never seen Jair Jurrjens pitch, but he's 10-5 for the Braves, with a 3.02 ERA. The trade that brought him from the Tigers for Edgar Renteria looks to be a great one for Atlanta.
Mark Buehrle is well on his way to notching his 8th straight season with over 200+ innings pitched. He also should finish the year with around 120 career wins. Buehrle will not turn 30 until March 23rd of 2009.
If you wanted to watch great pitching prospects in 2007, a good place to hang out was in Rochester, NY. Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Matt Garza, Glen Perkins, and Kevin Slowey all toed the rubber there at one point, last season. All of them have pitched well in the majors this year, with only Garza not doing it with the Twins. Maybe this Francisco Liriano kid can emulate them and do something in the majors, after his time in Rochester.