The Top 10 … Right Now

halladay nohitter 03.jpg

MLB Network has been running episodes of Top 10 Right Now, where they rank players at every position in the big leagues. The Phillies were well represented, so I’m running the lists here.

These lists should make for a good debate:

Starting Pitchers
10. Josh Johnson
9. Justin Verlander
8. Adam Wainwright
7. Cliff Lee
6. David Price
5. Jon Lester
4. CC Sabathia
3. Tim Lincecum
2. Felix Hernandez
1. Roy Halladay

Relievers
10. Aroldis Chapman
9. Jose Valverde
8. Rafael Soriano
7. Andrew Bailey
6. Heath Bell
5. Carlos Marmol
4. Neftali Feliz
3. Joakim Soria
2. Brian Wilson
1. Mariano Rivera

Catchers
10. Matt Wieters
9. Kurt Suzuki
8. John Buck
7. Carlos Ruiz
6. Carlos Santana
5. Yadier Molina
4. Victor Martinez
3. Brian McCann
2. Buster Posey
1. Joe Mauer

First Basemen
10. Kendry Morales
9. Justin Morneau
8. Paul Konerko
7. Prince Fielder
6. Ryan Howard
5. Mark Teixeira
4. Joey Votto
3. Adrian Gonzalez
2. Miguel Cabrera
1. Albert Pujols

Second Basemen
10. Neil Walker
9. Kelly Johnson
8. Brian Roberts
7. Rickie Weeks
6. Ian Kinsler
5. Brandon Phillips
4. Dan Uggla
3. Dustin Pedroia
2. Chase Utley
1. Robinson Cano

Third Basemen
10. Casey McGehee
9. Placido Polanco
8. Scott Rolen
7. Mark Reynolds
6. David Wright
5. Adrian Beltre
4. Kevin Youkilis
3. Alex Rodriguez
2. Ryan Zimmerman
1. Evan Longoria

Shortstops
10. Starlin Castro
9. Marco Scutaro
8. Stephen Drew
7. Alexei Ramirez
6. Jimmy Rollins
5. Elvis Andrus
4. Jose Reyes
3. Derek Jeter
2. Troy Tulowitzki
1. Hanley Ramirez

Left Fielders
10. Raul Ibanez
9. Carlos Lee
8. Jason Bay
7. Martin Prado
6. Delmon Young
5. Matt Holliday
4. Carl Crawford
3. Carlos Gonzalez
2. Josh Hamilton
1. Ryan Braun

Center Fielders
10. Grady Sizemore
9. Jacoby Ellsbury
8. Torii Hunter
7. Vernon Wells
6. Colby Rasmus
5. Austin Jackson
4. Shane Victorino
3. Curtis Granderson
2. Matt Kemp
1. Andrew McCutchen

Right Fielders
10. Justin Upton
9. Nick Markakis
8. Mike Stanton
7. Jason Heyward
6. Nelson Cruz
5. Andre Ethier
4. Jose Bautista
3. Jayson Werth
2. Shin-Soo Choo
1. Ichiro Suzuki

Managers
10. Joe Girardi
9. Bud Black
8. Buck Showalter
7. Dusty Baker
6. Bruce Bochy
5. Tony La Russa
4. Charlie Manuel
3. Ron Gardenhire
2. Mike Scioscia
1. Terry Francona

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23 Comments

I had some problems watching these. Even Mitchie Poo wasn’t too happy with a lot of their picks. The problem was that they read too much into stats and name brand players. I don’t think they dug deep enough, but I’ll just get into two Philly positions that stuck out to me.

For relievers, they said Johnathon Broxton just missed the list. How is he even remotely close when he’s terrible “right now.” Ryan Madson should have at least gotten a mention on the show when they were talking about eighth inning guys.

For catchers, I think Chooch should be a lot higher for many reasons I won’t get into, but he should be at least ahead of the streaky Carlos Santana, after getting his knee destroyed at home plate, is not at all 100% as of “right now”. This list was fairly bogus. There’s no definite way to tell who’s going to have a great season. It’s all gut feeling and these jokers went on physical stats and sheer word of mouth.

I had some problems watching these. Even Mitchie Poo wasn’t too happy with a lot of their picks. The problem was that they read too much into stats and name brand players. I don’t think they dug deep enough, but I’ll just get into two Philly positions that stuck out to me.

For relievers, they said Johnathon Broxton just missed the list. How is he even remotely close when he’s terrible “right now.” Ryan Madson should have at least gotten a mention on the show when they were talking about eighth inning guys.

For catchers, I think Chooch should be a lot higher for many reasons I won’t get into, but he should be at least ahead of the streaky Carlos Santana, after getting his knee destroyed at home plate, is not at all 100% as of “right now”. This list was fairly bogus. There’s no definite way to tell who’s going to have a great season. It’s all gut feeling and these jokers went on physical stats and sheer word of mouth.

Posey played about half a season

Terry Francona as the best coach right now??? Charlie is better than him. The Phils had plenty of injuries to overcome, yet they still made the playoffs while the Red Sox were 6 games out of the wild card! Also, Jeter shouldn’t be on the list at all and Cliff Lee is too low. Price, Lester and Sabathia better than Lee? Seriously? On a sad note, R. Howard is ranked too high and Ibanez shouldn’t even be on the list.

I have a few problems with the lists overall, but Carlos Ruiz at seventh is a complete and utter joke. Some of the guys on that list for catchers… Really? It seems like they looked in the home run colum and tried to fill out the list. Seriously though, for calling the list the top ten “right now”… Victor Martinez isn’t even a flippin’ catcher right now! He’s the DH in Detroit! One scout recently said this about Ruiz, “I think he’s the best catcher in the game?other than Mauer, who’s on a different planet.”
Ruiz gets zero respect on the national scale, and it’s sickening. In the last three years alone, the man has appeared in the World Series twice, won it once, and caught two-no hitters, including a perfect game.
Defensively, he’s the best catcher in the game not named Yadier Molina, and if that combined with a .302 / .400 / .442 line drops him to seventh… I just don’t know what to say. He and Mauer were the only catchers in the game to have OBP’s above .400. At the lowest, he should be ranked third, but I’d take him over Molina at second. For guys like Brian McCann, Carlos Santana, Buster Posey and Victor Martinez to be ranked above him… This list is a popularity contest and a complete joke.

Myname989, you hit it right on the head! Ruiz easily deserves 3rd.

Once again Ryan Howard gets boned. 6th? He should have been 3rd or 4th. I’m starting to think he is one of the most underrated players in the majors. Sounds crazy, but all you ever hear from the national media and from people outside of Philly (and some in Philly) is how over rated and overpaid he is. The guy just had a terrible season and still had over 30 HR and over 100 RBI, and thats when he missed 3 weeks right around the time he usually starts to get hot.

Based on the ranking of Sabathia over Lee and Cano over Utley, I have to wonder if performance or repuatation played into these ratings. Sabathia has been a sub- par postgame pitcher for years, Cano is good BUT Utley has performed better for a longer period of time.

As for Jeter over Rollins, that has to be based on reputation ALONE. Jeter has no range, a sub par arm and his gold gloves have been based on reputation ONLY for the last 3 or 4 years. Heck the Yankees are talking about a position switch for ” the captain” because he simply is a sub- par SS defensively.

NY bias strikes again. Whatta surprise.

Even though fans called for his job and his head, Raul placed the list. Another under-rated player who was hated for having an average year.

I agree with a lot of this, but a lot of it uses inconsistent logic with who’s good “right now” vs. who’s been good the past few years. It’s amazing how one year can change the ratings so much. Utley has one down year and now there’s a better second baseman in MLB?? Brian Wilson is the 2nd best reliever in all of baseball? I watched him blow so many saves the year before! He was terrible. If they want to be consistent with “right now” why is Rollins #6 for Shortstops right now? Valdez played better than him last year! Whatever, at least there were a lot of Phillies on the list.

Where to begin. Carlos is definately better then almost all the guys ahead of him (3rd is about right) and if Ibanez is the 10th best LF there are pretty slim pickings in the MLB at this posistion. AS for pitching, Lee should be way higher,and Oswalt should be on the list (7-1 sub 2.00 ERZ in last half of the season)

I’ll accept Cano is better, right now, then Utley. J-Roll can’t be top 6 as his season was short and non productive last year. Basically, they should decide if this is their fantasy game list, the best last seasonlist, or the (projectied) best for 2011. They seemingly tried to combine them all into one list.

This is nothing but a subjective exercise and I am sure that there are fans of every MLB team bitching about the lists.
But frankly, I would trade Chase Utley straight up for Robinson Cano in a NY minute. I love Chase, but Cano is the best 2B in MLB right now and he is four years younger. There’s no shame in being the second best on this level.

These lists are very tough to create. I think a lot of us are being a little bias when it comes to where our players rank. I personally think Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard got shafted. I’m not saying either are top 3 right now, but 6 is a little steep. They pride this so much on defense, and Jimmy has been the best defensive shortstop in the NL the past few years. Howard has set records where he stands alone with the likes of Babe Ruth..he is something special, but I guess his defense, and strkeout numbers are bad enough to effect his rank. As for Utley being 2nd, I believe he is the 2nd best behind Cano, frankly I am shocked MLB network agrees (because of the health issues). The starting pitchers list is VERY tough to do, I think making the top 10 means more than where on the list they are ranked. My main beef with that list, Cliff Lee needs to break the top 5, and Josh Johnson needs to be atleast 3rd, thats ridiculous. Sabathia is a horrible post season pitcher, and Cliff Lee has led two teams to the world series almost single handidly. I also think Wainwright was shafted and is underrated…and Lester should’t be on the list. Anyway, who cares how many number 1 guys we have on these lists, We’ll be the team with the Word Series trophy this year :)

Somebody please explain the love affair that MLB has with Francona? And LaRussa.

I suppose the key words are “right now,” as though these are currently where the players should rank.

Brian Roberts is a great player, but he hasn’t been healthy long enough to warrant a top 10 second baseman ranking. Either that, or the rest of the class is weak. I’m guessing Neil Walker’s mom helped make this list.
Likewise, Grady Sizemore, who WAS a great player but is coming off a major injury.

Do they seriously think David Price is better than Cliff Lee?
How does Posey get ranked ahead of McCann, based on a half season?
I love Chase, but I think he’s ranked way too high. I think Uggla is the better player “right now.”
And I still fail to see the fascination with Bud Black. Not only did his team fade badly down the stretch, but somehow he won the NL Manager of the Year award.

As it is, it’s just more off-season programming material for the MLB Network. I guess it beats Bob Costas and his pompous interviews.

I like Costas. I think the production he did on the found 1960 World Series game 7 film was terrific. The best thing MLB network has ever done, IMO.
The only thing that pisses me off about Costas is that he is older than me, but looks 10 years younger than me.

phan52: Maybe Costas has had “alittle work done” that could be the only reason for his youthful looks :-)

I too like Costas’s interviews. I just saw again his interview w/J-Roll and Howard shortly after the Tuscon shooting. It was a wonderful diversion from that awful tragedy. Plus J-Roll and Howard have such great chemistry and are very entertaining.

I think anyone claiming Valdez played better than JRol last year has a case of selecting memory… Yes, he played well, particularly on the defense, but his offense was pretty abysmal, and he ruined more than one rally with his 1 GiDP/16 ABs. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want him as a backup, but… With about the same playing time, Jimmy, managed numbers that were at least half-again as good as Wilson in most offensive categories.

Valdez= 333 AB, .258 AVG…
Rollins=350 AB, .243 AVG…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Rollins fan. Just saying… he was outplayed by Valdez last year. But I predict an All-Star type season for J-Roll this year.

phillies!!: It’s more than just batting average, you know. Here are the more significant numbers…

VALDEZ: 37 R, 35 RBI, .263 OBP, .270 SLG, .533 OPS
ROLLINS: 48 R, 41 RBI, .320 OBP, .374 SLG, .694 OPS

Rollins was not “outplayed” by Valdez last year. Valdez did a nice job filling in for an injured Rollins, but baseball is about run production and scoring runs, not just batting average.

As usual, “you could look it up,” and I’m sorry you buried the lead.

The only thing I remember about Wilson Valdez is his defense.

I am confused by some of these rankings to say the least. Roy Halladay is the best starting pitcher in baseball, i agree. Cliff Lee is the second best. This is a right now list, so age isn’t a huge factor. It’s what are they going to do right now for one year. David Price, Jon Lester, CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, and Felix Hernandez were all listed ahead of Cliff Lee. Don’t get me wrong these are all great pitchers, but if you ask each of the general managers for these teams if they would trade their respective picture for Cliff Lee, i assure you they would.

I also am a little confused by one of the rankings in the outfield. The outfielders are split into left, right and center respectively for the 2011 season. Josh Hamilton will play left field in 2011 so he his is listed accordingly. Josh Hamilton is the best outfielder in big leagues. But he is listed second among the left fielders. Ryan Braun is a perennial allstar and has a great career ahead oh him. But if the front office in Milwaukee could make a straight trade of Ryan Braun for Josh Hamilton they would literally jump for joy.

When picking the best right now for certain positions the defense takes a back seat. Shortstop is not one of those positions. Hanley Ramirez is a great offensive force, no one will argue against that. The bottome line is that the number one ranked shortstop is a guy whose defense will land him in the outfield. If a shortstops defense is of this caliber i’m not sure how he could be ranked the best in baseball.

After watching MLBN Top 10 Shorstops Right Now, I have to ask if this is an April Fools joke!!!! Derek Jeter # 3 in Top 10 Short Stops!!!!! You have got to be kidding me. He has won 6 championships. He is a player’s player. He gives it everything he has, every game. He always has something positive to say no matter what the circumstances and says it with dignity. Somebody should rethink the list and put him where he belongs…..# 1.

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