Tag Archive | "Offensive Prowess"

Wacha Wacha Wow

The St. Louis Cardinals have shown offensive prowess over the last week, racking up the run support and showing midseason form at the plate.  The offense was impressive, but may have been overshadowed by the presence of pitching prospect Michael Wacha.

MichaelWacha

Wacha took the mound behind starter Lance Lynn on Wednesday against the Mets.  The young prospect was making his second appearance in a Spring Training that has had many Cardinal officials raving about his work.  On the heels of Wednesday’s performance, I doubt the hype will be dying down anytime soon.

Mets announcers seem to be uttering the same phrase repeatedly in that highlight, “Oh Boy” seemed to be the order of the day.

The Cardinal farmhand took over for Lance Lynn to start the third inning and went right to work striking out Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada.  Superstar David Wright would follow with a base hit, the only blemish on Wacha’s day, before Ike Davis and Marlon Byrd would send fly balls into left field for an easy inning.

If the third inning was easy, the fourth was borderline dominant.  Lucas Duda and Justin Turner would both strike out, the former looking and the latter swinging, before John Buck would ground out weakly to second baseman Daniel Descalso.

The fifth inning would be more of the same with different names at the plate.   Matthew den Dekker, who’s name is familiar thanks to his home run robbing catch earlier in the week (seen below), would watch strike three while Mike Baxter would take his chances swinging even though he would come up empty.  Ruben Tejada, seeing the Cards right hander for a second time, would also ground out to Descalso, though the Cardinals infielder had moved across the diamond to third base.

Wacha seemed dominant, at least on paper, but watching the young man pitch made it obvious that he was pitching smart.  His fastball was in the lower 90′s, but it was also in the lower part of the strike zone.  His changeup was pinpointed and seemed to keep guys off balance while his “third best pitch” as the Mets’ announcers pointed out, his breaking ball was sharp and kicked up dirt.  He truly stepped on the mound to pitch, not throw, and it was clear by the outcome that he was successful.

Most impressive might have been his efficiency.  Wright’s base hit was the only ball struck hard, and even that one was not crushed.

Fans have been hearing for some time now that this is a great farm system.  Spring training gives them their first chance to see this first hand.

Michael Wacha is the future of the organization.

The future looks really, really good.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

Posted in Cardinals, MinorsComments (0)

Cooperstown Choices: Craig Biggio

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2013, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty four men on the ballot for the first time this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2013 menu at the top of the page.

In this article, we take a look at Craig Biggio

 

Craig Biggio
After a 20 year career that featured seven all star appearances, the lifetime Astro will be featured on the Hall Of Fame ballot for the first time.  He would notch a silver slugger award as a catcher and four more as a second baseman.  He rounded out his offensive prowess with three Gold Glove Awards in his career.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1988 HOU 50 123 14 26 6 1 3 5 6 7 29 .211 .254 .350 .603 75
1989 HOU 134 443 64 114 21 2 13 60 21 49 64 .257 .336 .402 .738 114
1990 HOU 150 555 53 153 24 2 4 42 25 53 79 .276 .342 .348 .689 93
1991 HOU 149 546 79 161 23 4 4 46 19 53 71 .295 .358 .374 .731 113
1992 HOU 162 613 96 170 32 3 6 39 38 94 95 .277 .378 .369 .747 118
1993 HOU 155 610 98 175 41 5 21 64 15 77 93 .287 .373 .474 .847 131
1994 HOU 114 437 88 139 44 5 6 56 39 62 58 .318 .411 .483 .893 138
1995 HOU 141 553 123 167 30 2 22 77 33 80 85 .302 .406 .483 .889 142
1996 HOU 162 605 113 174 24 4 15 75 25 75 72 .288 .386 .415 .801 120
1997 HOU 162 619 146 191 37 8 22 81 47 84 107 .309 .415 .501 .916 143
1998 HOU 160 646 123 210 51 2 20 88 50 64 113 .325 .403 .503 .906 139
1999 HOU 160 639 123 188 56 0 16 73 28 88 107 .294 .386 .457 .843 114
2000 HOU 101 377 67 101 13 5 8 35 12 61 73 .268 .388 .393 .780 93
2001 HOU 155 617 118 180 35 3 20 70 7 66 100 .292 .382 .455 .838 111
2002 HOU 145 577 96 146 36 3 15 58 16 50 111 .253 .330 .404 .734 88
2003 HOU 153 628 102 166 44 2 15 62 8 57 116 .264 .350 .412 .763 96
2004 HOU 156 633 100 178 47 0 24 63 7 40 94 .281 .337 .469 .806 105
2005 HOU 155 590 94 156 40 1 26 69 11 37 90 .264 .325 .468 .792 104
2006 HOU 145 548 79 135 33 0 21 62 3 40 84 .246 .306 .422 .727 84
2007 HOU 141 517 68 130 31 3 10 50 4 23 112 .251 .285 .381 .666 71
20 Yrs 2850 10876 1844 3060 668 55 291 1175 414 1160 1753 .281 .363 .433 .796 112
162 Game Avg. 162 618 105 174 38 3 17 67 24 66 100 .281 .363 .433 .796 112
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2012.

Why He Should Get In
A versatile player, Biggio was an All Star as a catcher and a second baseman. His offensive numbers are on par with what Hall Of Fame voters tend to recognize.  With over 3,000 hits and over 400 stolen bases as well as over 1100 runs batted in, he has solidified himself as worthy of a bronze plaque in the halls of Cooperstown.

Why He Should Not Get In
He may have held on a bit too long in an effort to get the numbers that he needed to in order to reach the hall.  While he may have held on too long, he was far from an embarassment to his career.  Biggio is as close to a first ballot hall of famer as you will find.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

Posted in Cooperstown Choices 2013, I-70 Baseball ExclusivesComments (0)


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