Memorial Day benchmark – By Bob Ryan

We’re at the ¼ bench-mark of the season—Memorial Day. By this time, most of the gloss of the shiny new rookies has worn off, the ol’ seasoned vets are getting closer to their lifetime expectations as summer begins (for most of us). According to Yahoo rankings, these are the best batters in their respective positions in the MLB. Some fresh names are on the board…take a peek…..

                                                             h/ab          avg         r              hr            rbi          sb           .obp       .ops

C-Stephen Vogt (oak)           38/124           .306        22           10           33           0              .408        1.013

1b-Paul Goldschmidt(Az)     52/156          .333        34           12           38           8              .438        1.073

2b-Dee Gordon(Miami)        8/181             .376        25            0             14         17              .407       .860

ss-Brandon Crawford(SF)     44/146         .301      23             6            31           2              .382        .896

3b-Miguel Cabrera(Det)       56/163           .344      26           11           32           1              .446        1.059

Of-Bryce Harper(Wash)    49/147              .333      39           16           41           2              .471        1.199

     Nelson Cruz (Sea)           57/166              .343      29           17           34           1              .401        1.100

     Justin Upton(SD)            46/162             .284       32           12           35           9              .343        .905



The top 10 ranked batters were (in order)—         the next 10 batters were–

Bryce Harper                                                                     Kendrys Morales (KC)

Paul Goldschmidt                                                            Jose Altuve (Hou)

Nelson Cruz                                                                       Josh Donaldson (Tor)

Jason Upton                                                                       Eric Hosmer (KC)

Mike Trout (LA A)                                                           Prince Fielder (Texas)

Anthony Rizzo(Cubs)                                                     Giancarolo Stanton (Miami)

Miguel Cabrera                                                                Jason Kipnis (Clev)

Dee Gordon                                                                       Matt Carpenter (StL)

Adrian Gonzalez(LA Dod)                                             Starling Marte (Pitt)

Ryan Braun(Mil)                                                               Todd Frazier (Cin)


Some thoughts that pop into mind….

…..Kendrys Morales is the biggest surprise…Minn/Seattle both gave up on him last year…I’d look for him the take the Nestea Plunge shortly.

…..Bryce Harper had a sensational last 2 weeks….seemed like he hit 10 HR during that time….his 3 year career totals are amazing the same–.270, .274, .273 but he’ll only be 23 years of age in October…wow…

….I was in KC this weekend (driving back & forth)…heard KC sports-talk radio….ugh….they actually claimed with a couple more years like he’s doing now…Hosmer could be a HOF…r u kidding me? I guess it’s been so long between HOF that they’ve forgotten the body of work that’s required to be considered …much less voted into… the HOF

….who’s Stephen Vogt – you say?…..well, he’s listed as a c/1b/of but he’s played 36 of his 37 games behind the plate…last year he was a more of a utility man for the A’s

….prediction—McCutheon will be in the top 20 by July 4th

….despite his hitting numbers…I still don’t trust (or like) Ryan Braun

….I’m also very surprised to see Juston Upton’s name in the top 10….in previous years he’s had more whiffs than a blind-folded batter

…..Some observers thought that Prince Fielder was going to tumble downhill quickly like his Dad (Cecil) did suddenly at the end of his career…not so (at least yet)



The top 5 ranked starting pitchers were—as of Sunday

                                                W-L       ERA         IP            K            WHIP

Max Scherzer(Wash)     5-3          1.67        64.2        72           0.88

Felix Hernandez(Sea)    7-1          2.19        61.2        63           0.94

Zack Greineke(LAD)       5-1          1.48        61           49           0.87

Shelby Miller(Atl)           5-1          1.5          60           48           0.90

Dallas Keuchel(Hou)      6-0          1.67        64.2        43           0.97       


The next 5 starters (in order) were

Sonny Gray (Oak)

Gerritt Cole (Pitt)

Michael Wacha (StL)

Chris Archer (TB)

A.J.Burnett (Pitt)


The top 5 ranked relief pitchers were (as of Sunday)

                                                                W-L        SV           hold       ERA        IP           K            WHIP   BB

David Robertson (CWS)                3-0          9              0              0.98        18.1        29           0.65        2

Dellin Betances (NYY)                   4-0          1              9              0.00        24           35           0.75        10

Andrew Miller (NYY                       0-1          13           0              0.93        19.1        33           0.67        9

Drew Storen (Wash)                      1-0          14           0              0.93        19.1        25           0.83        3

Joakim Soria (Det)                           2-0          13           0              1.42        19           15           0.88        3



The next 5 relief pitchers according to yahoo’s ranking system were—

Brad Boxdorfer (TB)

Wade Davis (KC)

Santiago Casilla (SF)

Glen Perkins (Minn)

Jeurys Familia (NYM)



…can’t hardly believe that AJ Burnett is in top 10 at this point of the season…clearly he’s lost some of his “heat” but apparently he’s figured out how to get guys out for 5-6 innings

……noticing NYY have their set-up man AND Closer in the top 5 has to tell you something…Andrew Miller was procured by NYY this year after bouncing around – 4 teams in 10 years in MLB (he’ll just turned 30)..Miller was obtained when Robertson signed with CWS

….for some reason the Cardinals do very well against Storen but he must be something else against the rest of the league

….David Robertson had been with NYY for his entire 8 year career until signing with Chisox this winter….he had 39 saves with 5 blown saves last year…that = a big payday for him

…have no clue where this Familia came from out of the blue …the NYM blue J

..Zack Greineke’s trade from KC to Milwaukee has helped propel them into their current high status…first of all they realized that they couldn’t afford to pay him …so…off he went…in exchange for Greineke, the Royals received SS Alcides Escobar, OF Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffries (OK…always at least 1 dog in a trade) and Jake Odorizzi (from Highland, Ill). 3 months later the Royals traded Odorizzi & Wil Myers (and 2 other smucks) to Tampa Bay for James Shields & Wade Davis! Now…that’s a great way to build a team. There are many ways….the Cards are using a very effective manner also…just a different approach.

MLB Standings…

AL East—Tampa Bay in 1st place?   What?   They don’t have any regular hitting .300 !!

AL Cen—KC showed us this weekend that they’ve realized that great defense, terrific bullpen, enough .270-.280 hitters to spark a run here and there CAN WIN.

AL West- Houston—I can’t believe that they’ll hold onto this level…but kudos to them for their rise

NL Cen-StL—we are clearly the best in this division

NL East-Wash has dug out of their 4-6 game deficit to take division lead

NL West- most talent in the league (but that doesn’t mean that they’ll win a short series)



Final thought…

I mentioned this previously…I wished the all-star players were chosen in some type of metrics (like above)…don’t abolish the fan vote…let the fans have 3-5 players represent them….heck…let the fans vote for the rookie player that they want to see; their favorite player from their home town; their most hated player; the smoothest player (is that 5 players…whatever….the fan voting , which is currently based on the Chicago style of voting (vote early and often) is really a sham…let the roster bat and have free substitution in the field (not pitchers); don’t allow pitchers to hit (when do they hit anyway in the All-Star game?)…pitcher regulations—no more than 3 innings; no less than 3 batters…if a player doesn’t get into the game…so be it…this isn’t T-ball…

 ….more ideas for the pre-game activities–expand the HR derby; let spray hitters try to place their batted balls into specific parts of the field (with markers of some kind); let pitchers try to throw inside certain boxes to demonstrate control; don’t let the winning team of this exhibition game have any special prize…let the team with the best season long record have the home-field advantage in each playoff round…including the World Series (if tied, go by head-head if still tied go by run differential vs head-head, etc, etc)


I’ll be taking a vacation from these blogs for a couple weeks…self-imposed….I look forward to reaching out to you in late June.   Thanks for all your comments…keep them coming…pro and con (Hearing a differing view is always good for me)….if you know of anyone else who would enjoy these ramblings – just shoot me their email….

 In the meantime….if ur really bored…here’s a couple earlier blogs that I got some strong reactions from the readers….actually….they were some that amused ME the most.


Feb 26 50 shades of red

Mar 23 Moving to the Sweet 16

Apr 6 Buggar Easter Eggs

Apr 13 1st Week & Augusta

Apr 27 The Awards Draft

Others are on Prepcasts Home Page – under announcers – click on Bob Ryan Blog


  1. Jim Pleimann says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Schmuck would like to talk to you. They do not approve of you downgrading their son. That is Mrs. Schmuck little boy you are lambasting!!

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