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The 2013 Boston Red Sox: Something To Be Excited About

The Boston Red Sox agreed to terms on deals with draftees Anthony Ranaudo and Brandon Workman days before the deadline on Monday.  This is very big news, as a deal with Ranaudo was in question for most of Monday.  

The Red Sox selected Ranaudo 39th overall in June’s draft, which was considered to be a steal by many.  The six-foot-seven former LSU pitcher was thought of as a top prospect coming into his junior year, but his season was marred by elbow issues, which dropped him to 39th.  

Workman was drafted in the second round out of Texas, where he went 12-2 with a 3.35 ERA, striking out 101 in 104 1/3 innings.  He has also been thought of as a very good prospect.  

In that same draft, Boston also selected 3B Kolbrin Vitek and OF Bryce Brentz, both signed before Monday’s deadline.  

Vitek, Ranaudo, and Workman all figure to be big parts of the 2013 Red Sox roster.  I feel it’s too early to say the same about Brentz, who has struggled mightily with the Lowell Spinners.  Early on, Vitek had similar struggles, but he has come around to have a solid season at the short-season A ball club.  

With those three locked up, the Red Sox look to be set for a long time.  

With young stars like Buchholz, Lester, Youkilis, Pedroia, and Ellsbury around, the Red Sox should be a tough team to beat in a few years.  

The Red Sox also have some very good prospects to be brought up this September and down the line; Casey Kelly, Jose Iglesias, Anthony Rizzo, and Ryan Westmoreland, should he return from brain surgery.  

A potential 2013 Sox lineup and rotation would look like this: 


  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. 2B Dustin Pedroia
  3. RF Ryan Westmoreland
  4. 1B Kevin Youkilis
  5. DH Anthony Rizzo
  6. 3B Kolbrin Vitek
  7. LF Ryan Kalish
  8. C  Luis Exposito
  9. SS Jose Iglesias
  1. Jon Lester
  2. Clay Buchholz
  3. Anthony Ranaudo 
  4. Casey Kelly
  5. Brandon Workman
Of course Jose Iglesias would be a lead-off man in most cases, however when you have a guy like Jacoby Ellsbury, it’s not so easy to lock up the leadoff position.  I left Beckett and Lackey to the bullpen because I don’t believe they’ll have enough in them by 2013 to be starters.  Boston will also have some good guys to come off the bench in Lars Anderson and Reymond Fuentes.  
The bullpen will have guys like Lackey, Beckett, Tazawa, Bowden, Bard, and possibly Jonathan Papelbon.
A lineup and rotation like only belongs to a sure-fire playoff, potentially title winning team.  

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What If Josh Hamilton Were Never Traded to the Texas Rangers?

On December 21, 2007, news broke that Josh Hamilton had been traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.  

At the time, it was a fairly big trade; Hamilton had hit .292 with 19 home runs and 47 RBI in just 298 ABs for the Reds, while Volquez was a top prospect in the Rangers organization.  Herrera was not a top prospect, but he has gone on to be a solid bullpen arm.  

But we all know what became of Hamilton and Volquez.  

In 2008, Volquez produced ace-like numbers, going 17-6 with an ERA of 3.21 in 32 starts. He tossed 206 strikeouts in just 196 innings.  

But his performances were matched and raised by the then 27-year-old Hamilton.  He hit .304 with 32 home runs and knocked in a league-leading 130 RBI in ’08, his season highlighted with a stunning performance at the Home Run Derby, hitting a record 28 home runs in the first round.  

But none of these spectacular stats mattered, as both the Reds and the Rangers found themselves under .500 and well out of the playoff race, when it was all done.  

Fast forward two years.  

Now the Rangers and Reds are both major contenders in their respective divisions, the Rangers holding a firm 8.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Reds are deadlocked in a tight race with the St. Louis Cardinals.  

While the Rangers are arguably the best team in baseball, with no glaring weakness, the Reds have some clear weaknesses.  

Such as the outfield.  

Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs have both been incredibly disappointing in Cincinnati, so the Reds went out and got veteran Jim Edmonds.  Reds manager Dusty Baker said that Edmonds will likely not play everyday, and will just fill in for Stubbs and Bruce, giving them the occasional days off.  

Now, how much easier would life be if the Reds did not trade Josh Hamilton?  

First of all, the Reds have plenty of pitching.  

If the trade had never occurred, the Reds would likely have a rotation of Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, and either Sam LeCure or Matt Maloney, two 26-year-olds pitching very well at AAA.  

While there is no clear-cut ace, (unless you count Cueto as an ace) it is full of very solid young pitchers.  Arroyo, Leake, Cueto, and Wood have all been fantastic in their time in Cincinnati so far in 2010.  

Not to mention the Reds lived without Volquez for the first part of this season, and they’re still in it.  

With Hamilton in the lineup, the Reds would have an absolutely deadly second coming of the “Big Red Machine.”  A Reds lineup plus Hamilton would probably look something like this: 

1. 2B Brandon Phillips
2. SS Paul Janish (Orlando Cabrera on DL)
3. 1B Joey Votto
4. CF Josh Hamilton (played CF in first year, still capable)
5. 3B Scott Rolen
6. LF Jonny Gomes
7. RF Jay Bruce
8. C Ramon Hernandez
9. Pitcher

Hamilton’s name instantly changes the look of the lineup from a good one, to one of the best lineups in the game.  
Bottom line?  
If this Josh Hamilton trade never happened, the Reds would be a legitimate World Series contender, a team that may even be considered the favorite to win it all.
Now let’s turn our attention to Texas.  
This move has obviously worked out very well for the Rangers so far.  The deadly duo of Hamilton and Vladmir Guerrero back-to-back is carrying the Rangers to an AL West title, and possibly a championship.  
Even if the Rangers didn’t do the trade, they would at least have made a strong run to re-sign Marlon Byrd.  Then they would have Volquez instead of Rich Harden in the rotation, and the Rangers would still be a World Series contender.  
But they are much better off with Josh Hamilton.  
Who isn’t much better with a triple crown contender?  
The Hamilton-Volquez trade is yet to really be determined with the rest of their careers ahead of them, but so far, the winner of the deal is clear: the Texas Rangers.  

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Major League Baseball: Midseason Award Predictions

As it looks like the Rangers have acquired Cliff Lee, the baseball landscape completely changes. The Twins and Tigers look like they no longer have a legitimate shot at a World Series title, while the Rangers make a huge leap and are looking like a good bet to be a championship contender.

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Rookies in Major League Baseball: 2010

While the MLB season isn’t halfway over, it’s time we started discussing how good rookies have really been this season. We’ve seen surprises like Brennan Boesch and Jaime Garcia, as well as guys like Jason Heyward (left) who we’ve known would be good all along. This slideshow will display all the rookies at their best.

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