Everybody knew he was good, but THIS good?
Paul Goldschmidt is having a fantastic sophomore season, and he capped it with an out of this world week:
“Goldie” had a triple slash of .524/.524/1.190, for an ops of 1.714, with 3 homeruns, 5 doubles and 5 rbis. You can already make the case for him being the best first baseman in the big leagues.
Or.. you may say that the honor still belongs to Joey Votto, who is raking bases by the dozens: .542/.621/.875 for him this week, .473 on base for the season. If you are in an obp league, he is almost illegal.
“Big papi” David Ortiz had a more than productive week with 12 rbis, Raul Ibanez smashed 5 long balls for 11 rbis, Robinson Cano, Billy Butler, Jason Kipnis had 10, and so did Adam Dunn: the “rollercoaster guy” was clearly in an “up” week. Everth Cabrera and Jean Segura are in an arm wrest match for the stolen bases title.
Carlos Gomez is still the WAR king, with 2.7 wins above replacement so far.
Kings of the hill
Chris Sale is right now the most dominant pitcher in baseball: he dismantled the Angels twice this week, first by going a hit short of a perfect game, then overwhelming their lineup with 12 strikeouts.
He has become the ace many predicted he would be, and he is one of the front runners for the Cy Young award. Bronson Arroyo is not a Cy Young candidate, but he had a really solid, 2 wins week, and had the same ERA (0.00) of the dominant Sale.
Well, I guess, given the name, you shouldn’t expect great changes in this product, but the lack of new ideas is kind of depressing, here.
So, here it is, Topps Museum
2012 2013, with the same hits, the same parallels, the same inserts Topps gave us last year, and once again, in my opinion, it’s the artistic side of this product the real winner.
Basically, on the relics side you have a big chunk of jersey and a single player, quad jersey card or four player, quad jersey card in each box. If you are lucky, you can spot some colors or get a patch on the quad relics:
If you are REALLY lucky, there are great patches to be found:
On the autographs side, there is a basic auto and an autograph with two or three relics in each box.
Three pitchers took center stage with masterful performances this week: first, it was Matt Harvey, who retired the first 20 White Sox batters he faced, taking a perfect game into the 7th inning. Then his no-hit bid ended with two outs on an infield single by Alex Rios, and though he worked nine innings and allowed just one of 28 batters to reach base, he couldn’t get his deserved win. The game ended in the 10th inning, in fact.
Then, Shelby Miller entered the stage:
The young gun of the Cardinals threw a one-hit wonder: against the Rockies, he allowed a leadoff single to Eric Young, and then retired the next 27 hitters in order. He struck out a career-high 13, improving to 5-2 with a 1.58 ERA in the process. He was truly amazing.
And his rotation partner Adam Wainwright was not about to be outdone by his rookie teammate the following night: he retired the first 13 batters faced and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, before Nolan Arenado hit a one-out line drive to center. Wainwright ended his game with a 2-hit shutout win.
Seven pitchers had a 2-win week, only 4 of them starters: Cliff Lee, Matt Cain and Ubaldo Jimenez pitched brilliantly, while Mat Latos was helped by his bats, with a 7.36 ERA. Yu Darvish had his usual monster week with 22 strikeouts in 2 outings, and looks the clear front runner for the Cy Young award.
Hitters on the rise
Evan Longoria had an MVP week:
His 12 hit-3 homerun-11 rbi week resulted in a triple slash of .414/.485/.862: he is right now the second best at his role behind only the unreal Miguel Cabrera. Joe Mauer had a great week, reminiscent of his MVP past.
The week had 2 main actors: sunday through friday, Carlos Gomez was on fire, adding a new dimension of power to his proven speed. Then, saturday came and Miguel Cabrera trashed the Houston Astros with about 2,000 hits.
With a game for the week, if not for the ages, the reigning AL MVP ended the week with a triple slash of .462/.563/1.038, good for an ops of 1.601(!!), with 4 homeruns and 13 rbis. The “new CarGo”, though, was not far, with an ops of 1.552 to go along with his usual speed (5 stolen bases). He is one of the biggest steals of the fantasy draft so far.
Ryan Raburn was on fire for the Indians, while the new dynamic duo McCutchen-Marte has Pittsbugh dreaming. Buster Posey was clutch for the Giants, while Manny Machado is becoming a real force in the Majors, both with his glove and his bat.
Aces on the mound
Max Scherzer is the number 2 pitcher of his team’s staff only because the ace is a guy by the name of Justin Verlander. With the only exception of the Dodgers and the Rangers, today he would be the ace of any other majors’ staff.
He was brilliant in his 2 wins, with 18 strikeouts and only 2 walks, a whip of 0.72 and an avg. against of .170.
Jeremy Guthrie, with less fireworks (8 so, 4 bb) was, anyway, as effective: he didn’t allow an earned run and improved to 4-0 for the season. Patrick Corbin and Jason Marquis were the other starters with 2 wins, Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan earned 2 in relief.
Clay Bucholz was almost too good to be true in his win in Toronto, according to Jack Morris and other commentators.
The first month of fantasy baseball is gone (yes, also that strange sport that produces the stats for the game) and it’s time to celebrate the best and the worst of April, with some numbers that may or may not corroborate what your players have done so far (spoiler alert: Justin Upton’s managers won’t be happy..).
Player of the month
Justin Upton has put together some ridiculous numbers, smashing the ball all across America and was the best player of April.
His 12 homeruns lead the Majors, though he has not many rbis (19, almost all his homers were solo shots). His triple stash is .298/.402/.734, good for an ops of 1.136.
But when the adjectives to describe a player’s performance are “unreal”, “crazy”, “unsustainable”, you know the guy is ready for regression: in April, Justin had a fly ball rate of almost 48%, and he converted over 38% of those balls in homeruns. Both numbers are, well, unreal, and can’t be possibly sustained throughout the season.
Many of those fly balls will become ground balls, and his power production will slow down.
Chris Davis was close second to Upton for player of the month: he showed he wasn’t a fluke of the first week and continued to smash the ball, one could say with better numbers than Justin. He has 9 homeruns, leads the Majors with 28 rbis, and his triple line is .348/.442/.728, with an ops of 1.170. His fly balls and homerun per fly ball rates are similar to those of Upton, and with a batting average of balls in play close to .400, he is due for some regression.
Advanced metrics say that this guy was the player of the month:
Dexter Fowler leads the Majors with a WAR of 2.0, a tenth of a point better than Upton. He had gaudy numbers all across the board, with advanced metrics that corrobate his power spike (though he also has a 38% in homerun per fly ball). He gained his WAR with his defense, too bad you don’t need it in fantasy leagues.
After a great rookie season, Topps Museum is coming back, with 4 guaranteed hits in each of this medium-high end product’s box.
Four-pack boxes, in fact, deliver an on-card autograph, an autographed memorabilia card, a jumbo relic and a quad memorabilia card. Case hits include an autographed jumbo relic and a Framed Museum Collection Autograph, with a metallic frame, signed directly on-card in metallic ink.
Momentous Materials come with a jumbo memorabilia piece and an autograph. Numbered to 10, there are more than 100 players in the set.
Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Stan Musial and Carlton Fisk are among those with cards in the set.
Primary Pieces are book cards with over 50 players, featured with 4 pieces of game-used memorabilia.