-Adrian Beltre missed nearly 40 games last season but still managed to blast 32 home runs and drive in 105 runners, both of which are career highs outside of his monster 2004 campaign when he finished runner-up in the NL MVP race to Barry Bonds. But what if he had stayed healthy? Check out his 162 game projections:
107 runs 188 hits 43 doubles 41 home runs 137 RBI 356 total bases and about seven bWAR
With those numbers I have a hard time believing the voters still would have chosen Justin Verlander as the American League's Most Valuable Player.
-Texas had a very stable rotation last year. C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, and Alexi Ogando started 157 of the team's 162 games and recorded at least thirteen wins apiece. Team President Nolan Ryan has done a tremendous job overhauling the team's pitching corps by developing talented, durable young starters. The Rangers have come a long way since the Alex Rodriguez era, when the ineffective hurlers sabotaged the club's prolific offense. Now the defending AL champs have plenty of pitching to go with their lumber.
-Ian Kinsler didn't make the All-Star team last year. He scored 121 runs, swatted 32 homers, swiped 30 bases, finished eleventh in the MVP race, and notched 5.4 bWAR. It seems like everyone makes the team these days, so how did Kinsler get left out? A first half slump left him sitting on a .220/.342/.390 line with just seven longballs in early June, but from that point forward he was one of the best hitters in baseball.
-Mark Trumbo, the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up, finished 2011 with more four-baggers (29) than walks (25). So did teammate Vernon Wells (25 homers against 20 walks).
-In 2011 Torii Hunter completed his tenth season with at least 21 home runs since 2001 (the only year he missed was 2005, when he played just 98 games). He also set a career high in walks, with 62.
-Joel Pineiro (5.13 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, -1.6 bWAR) finished with a higher winning percentage (.500) than rotation-mate Ervin Santana (3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.1 bWAR, .478 W-L%).
-Coco Crisp led the Junior Circuit with 49 steals last year, tied with Brett Gardner.
-The Oakland A's finished twelfth out of the fourteen AL teams in OBP last season. Ryan Sweeney (now with the Red Sox) paced the team with his .346 mark.
-Miguel Olivo led the Mariners with 19 home runs and 62 RBI last season. The Mariners are the AL equivalent of the San Diego Padres.
-Dustin Ackley (.273) outhit Ichiro Suzuki (.272) by just one point. Who saw that one coming?