Who Will Follow Their Lead in 2011?

By Moonlight Graham

It was a banner year for rookies in Major League Baseball as more than a few newcomers not only burst onto the scene in a big way, but turned their teams into contenders. The American League Rookie of the Year, Rangers’ RP Neftali Feliz, set a rookie record for saves and firmed up the Texas bullpen to the tune of a World Series appearance.   He wasn’t the AL’s only impact newbie, as Minnesota’s Danny Valencia filled a void at third base for the champions of the AL Central.   In the National League, Travis Wood performed so well for Cincinnati that even Dusty Baker, notorious for his disdain of rookies, couldn’t keep him out of the rotation. Then there was NL Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey, who was not just the most important player in the lineup for the World Champion Giants, but impacted the Rangers’ championship run by making then San Francisco catcher Bengie Molina Aavilable.  Now, That’s a game changer. Continue reading »

Never Too Early To Start Next Year’s Draft Prep

by Moonlight Graham

The top ten in my draft this season were Pujols, Hanley, ARod, Mauer, Utley, Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Howard, Longoria and Lincecum.  I know it’s early, but how many of these are still in next year’s first round and who replaces the guys that drop?  Artie DiSori -  Wallin, PA

Hey, Artie.  Looks like your fantasy baseball draft was standard, shotgun format last season. However, it’ll bear little resemblance to next year’s I’m afraid, especially with the emergence of a few young superstars.  If I was to sit at a draft table today, I’d still expect Pujols to top the list.  What follows may surprise some, but it’s how Moonlight’s first draft list will look.  Votto, Hanley, Cabrera, Cano, Braun, CarGO, Longoria, Tulo and King Felix.  Don’t get me wrong; I still love guys like Mauer and Lincecum but prefer to populate my Top Ten with young studs on the rise. Continue reading »

by Moonlight Graham

It happens every spring.  MLB clubs head into the new season filled with all of the promise and excitement that a new year brings.  Injured players are healthy, dissapointing performance are forgotten and optimism rules the day. Unfortunately, many also begin the new campaign focused more on finances than the standings and thus, head into battle without a full arsenal of weaponry.

Without going into all of the legal issues surrounding the MLB arbitration process, suffice to say that the most important element is service time; specifically, days on a Major League roster.  If a rookie that would normally be eligible for arbitration after two years is held back until the end of May, he cannot be credited with the service time required for a full season.  Therefore, the big payday usually gained through arbitration is delayed by a full calendar year. Continue reading »

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