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Staff Picks: Ryan’s 2012 MLB Predictions

National League:

West: Diamondbacks

Central: Cardinals

East: Phillies

Wild Card: Marlins

Wild Card: Giants

NLDS: Phillies def. Marlins in 4; Cardinals def. Diamondbacks in 5

NLCS: Cardinals def. Phillies in 6

NLCS MVP: Lance Berkman


NL Rookie of the Year (hitter): Devin Mesoraco

NL Dark Horse Rookie of the Year (hitter): Bryce Harper

NL Rookie of the Year (pitcher): Trevor Bauer

NL Dark Horse Rookie of the Year (pitcher): Shelby Miller

NL Reliever of the Year: Jonathan Axford

NL Dark Horse Reliever of the Year: Jason Motte

NL Comeback Player of the Year: Hanley Ramirez

NL Dark Horse Comeback Player of the Year: Dan Uggla

NL Strikeout King: Clayton Kershaw

NL Dark Horse Strikeout King: Madison Bumgarner

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

NL Dark Horse Cy Young: Josh Johnson

NL Batting Champ: Carlos Gonzalez

NL Dark Horse Batting Champ: Starlin Castro

NL HR Champ: Giancarlo Stanton

NL Dark Horse HR Champ: No one is going to hit more HRs than Stanton

NL MVP: Justin Upton

NL Dark Horse MVP: Giancarlo Stanton


American League

West: Angels

Central: Tigers

East: Rays

Wild Card Winner: Yankees

Wild Card Winner: Rangers

ALDS: Angels def. Yankees in 3; Tigers def. Rays in 4

ALCS: Tigers def. Angels in 7

ALCS MVP: Prince Fielder

AL ROY (hitter): Jesus Montero

AL Dark Horse ROY (hitter): Yoenis Cespedes

AL ROY (pitcher): Matt Moore

AL Dark Horse ROY (pitcher): Yu Darvish

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Ichiro Suzuki

AL Dark Horse Comeback Player of the Year: Vernon Wells/Adam Dunn

AL Strikeout King: Felix Hernandez

AL Dark Horse Strikeout King: Matt Moore

AL Cy Young Winner: Felix Hernandez

AL Dark Horse Cy Young Winner: Ubaldo Jiminez

AL Batting Champ: Adrian Gonzalez

AL Dark Horse Batting Champ: Eric Hosmer

AL HR King: Jose Bautista

AL Dark Horse HR King: Evan Longoria

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera

AL Dark Horse MVP: Albert Pujols

2012 World Series:

2012 World Series: Tigers def. Cardinals in 6

2012 WS MVP: Justin Verlander

Brett Wallace’s Thighs: The Eighth Wonder of the World

Some little-known facts about Brett Wallace and his massive thighs:

  • With certain breeds of dogs, you can get an idea of how big they will be based upon the size of their paws as a puppy.  At two-years-old, Wallace’s thighs suggested a career as a corner infielder.
  • Brett Wallace’s thighs have thighs.
  • With those tree trunks, all of his baseball pants are naturally pro-flared.
  • In 2010, Wallace was traded twice due to his unsightliness in khakis.
  • Wallace has never sat in the middle seat on an airplane.
  • He once tried on a pair of skinny jeans.
  • He once got stuck in a pair of skinny jeans.
  • He’s never been considered top heavy.
  • His lower half was the inspiration behind EvoShield’s first products.
  • Brett Wallace can out-leg press Yoenis Cespedes in his sleep.


Top 50 Prospects: #4 – Shelby Miller

#4 Shelby Miller

St. Louis Cardinals

DOB: 10/10/1990

Previous Rank: 16

ETA: 2012

Aside from a team-issued suspension for being an idiot, Shelby Miller had an outstanding 2011 that only served to reinforce his spot as the top righty in the Minor Leagues.  He posted a 2.77 ERA in 25 starts across two levels including his final stop in Springfield where he collected 16 Double-A starts as a 20-year-old.  Yikes!  The kid struck out 170 guys on the season next to only 53 walks in just under 140 IP.  Again, Yikes!

Miller is special.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev W L ERA GS IP BB SO WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 18 Quad Cities MIDW A 0 0 6.00 2 3.0 2 2 2.333 15.0 0.0 6.0 6.0 1.00
2010 19 Quad Cities MIDW A 7 5 3.62 24 104.1 33 140 1.246 8.4 0.6 2.8 12.1 4.24
2011 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-A+ 11 6 2.77 25 139.2 53 170 1.181 7.2 0.3 3.4 11.0 3.21
2011 20 Palm Beach FLOR A+ 2 3 2.89 9 53.0 20 81 1.132 6.8 0.3 3.4 13.8 4.05
2011 20 Springfield TL AA 9 3 2.70 16 86.2 33 89 1.212 7.5 0.2 3.4 9.2 2.70
3 Seasons 18 11 3.17 51 247.0 88 312 1.223 7.8 0.4 3.2 11.4 3.55
A (2 seasons) A 7 5 3.69 26 107.1 35 142 1.276 8.6 0.6 2.9 11.9 4.06
AA (1 season) AA 9 3 2.70 16 86.2 33 89 1.212 7.5 0.2 3.4 9.2 2.70
A+ (1 season) A+ 2 3 2.89 9 53.0 20 81 1.132 6.8 0.3 3.4 13.8 4.05
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2012.

His fastball has tremendous sink and arm-side ride to go along with 94-97 mph of pace.  His changeup and curveball already get 50s, but they still have room to grow.  His breaker is tight with quality shape, but it is not consistent yet.  The changeup is ahead of the bender, and it features excellent fade that should allow him to neutralize lefties in the Bigs as he already has shown he can do on the farm.  Miller should open the year in Triple-A with the singular goal of developing his secondary stuff.  Should he prove to accomplish this early on in 2012, we see no reason for the Cardinals not to push for his promotion.

Miller is elite and, with a 6-foot-3 and projectable build as well as aggressive and competitive makeup, should steamroll his way to Busch and challenge for the ace role there immediately.  We expect Miller to annually receive CY votes.

Colby Rasmus: As interesting as a house plant

H/T to Matt Sebek of for his breakdown of Colby’s backwoods-gangster lingo.  This video is an absolute gem for so many reasons.

I’ll give Colby some credit for mentioning that Michael Jordan is the one person he’d like to meet.  Me too, Colby. Me too.

A dream come true year for Lance Jeffries (Prep Baseball Report)

Growing up, every aspiring baseball player shares a common dream: to one day play for their hometown team.  For many, it’s a dream that dissipates over time, as the daunting reality of what it takes to even play at the collegiate level takes center stage.

But for St. Louis native Lance Jeffries (right), the dream became a breathtaking reality on June 7, when the St. Louis Cardinals selected the McCluer outfielder in the 10th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.  Two days later, Jeffries and the Cardinals made it official when he signed his first professional contract, and was subsequently assigned to the organization’s Gulf Coast League affiliate in Florida.

As a senior, 6-foot, 205-pound Jeffries garnered Prep Baseball Report Missouri First Team All-State honors after posting a .457 batting average and .587 OBP, with 10 home runs, 38 runs scored, 45 RBI, and a perfect 46-for-46 in stolen bases.

However, it was obvious that Jeffries’ sheer athleticism extended well beyond his robust stats.  In August of 2010, the speedster opened eyes nation wide by running an event-best 6.6-second 60-yard dash at USA Baseball’s Breakthrough Series.  Then at Prep Baseball Report’s Super 60 draft showcase in McCook, IL last February, Jeffries flashed his 90+ mph arm and plus bat-speed.  In a matter of months, he had emerged as one of the nation’s more intriguing five-tool prep prospects.

Now, after an impressive inaugural campaign in the GCL, Jeffries is back in St. Louis and spending time with his friends and family. And despite his success and acclimation to life as a professional baseball player, the awe of being drafted – by his hometown team nonetheless – has hardly faded.

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