Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from -EdithBunker-. Show -EdithBunker-'s posts

    Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    By Rob Bradford/WEEI:

    Nobody has more wins this month than the Red Sox (19).

    No team has a better batting average (.288), OPS (.824) or slugging percentage (.472) in May than this team.

    Their starting pitchers have combined for a 3.69 ERA in the last 29 days.

    And, most importantly, the Red Sox find themselves in first-place on May 30 for the first time since 2007 (when they were 10 ½ games ahead of second-place Baltimore).

    So, the question is: How good is this team?

    The answer will largely depend on injuries, the ability to some surprises to sustain their performances (see Tim Wakefield, Alfredo Aceves, Rich Hill), and … did we say injuries?

    But, as we sit here, perhaps one of the most telling aspects of this club is that you could make an argument that the Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions.

    This list could be extended to Rich Hill, who is one of two relievers with at least eight appearances to not have allowed a run, joining Jose Contreras.

    But for now, let’s focus on the regulars:

    STARTING PITCHER: JOSH BECKETT

    Yes, his ERA jumped up to a whopping 1.80 after giving up two runs in six innings Sunday night (1.00 for the month of May), but that is still best in the AL. He also has the league’s best batting average against (.189).

    In the conversation: Trevor Cahill, Jered Weaver, James Shields, Justin Verlander, Alexi Ogando. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz.

    FIRST BASEMAN: ADRIAN GONZALEZ

    He has the most RBI among AL first baseman (45), but doesn’t lead in any other major offensive category. Gonzalez has the third-most homers (9), the second-best OPS (.911), and trails Casey Kotchman in batting average (although the Rays’ first baseman has 108 fewer plate appearances). Still, consider the overall production, along with the fact he hasn’t made a single error, and the first-year Red Sox makes a strong case.

    In the conversation: Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixeira, Paul Konerko.

    THIRD BASEMAN: KEVIN YOUKILIS

    Sure, Youkilis might have a subpar batting average (.252), but no AL third baseman has a better OPS (.876), with Adrian Beltre the only member of the group totaling more extra-base hits (23 to Youklis’ 22).

    In the conversation: Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre, Wilson Betemit.

    CENTER FIELD: JACOBY ELLSBURY

    As a leadoff hitter, Ellsbury joins Minnesota’s Denard Span in scoring the most runs in the AL (29), while totaling the best batting average (.318) and second-best OPS (.848). When comparing him to centerfielders, Ellsbury’s OPS is second only to Curtis Granderson. The Sox’ outfielder also has more stolen bases (19) than any other AL player at his position.

    In the conversation: Curtis Granderson, Denard Span, Melky Cabrera, Adam Jones

    DESIGNATED HITTER: DAVID ORTIZ

    No DH has more home runs (10), and only Travis Hafter – who comes in at 85 less plate appearances than Ortiz – claims a higher OPS than the Sox’ slugger’s .902. Ortiz has more total bases than any other designated hitter (100), while having reached base above and beyond any of his counterparts (78).

    In the conversation: Billy Butler, Vlad Guerrero, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Johnny Damon.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxPatsCelts1988. Show SoxPatsCelts1988's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    I heard Rob Bradford talk about that on the radio a few hours ago.  I think the best way to put it is that all of these guys are "arguably the best" with the exception of David Ortiz who is hands down the best.  The fact that there's 5 guys even as "arguably the best" shows just how good this team is.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    These things are fun foder but often not much more. But it does highlight what the Gonzalez trade meant. By moving Youk the RS went from having an above 1B to having a top 5 1B in Gonzo and Youk became a top 5 3B.

    While the head to head stuff means little, they were able to make the team much better through the move. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    There's a chance Pedey and CC could catch on fire and have the best final 110 game numbers at their positions as well.

    That's a good potential for 7 top hitters out of 9 positions from here on out...
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    When you factor in defense which Bradford hasn't for some odd reason Granderson has been a much more valuable player so far this year. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    WAR (Wins Above Replacement) provides another approach:

    AL Starting Pitchers
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=sta&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    AL Firstbasemen
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    AL Thirdbasemen
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=3b&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    AL Centerfielders
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    AL Designated Hitters
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=dh&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    One could argue that the Red Sox don't have the American League's best player at any position.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from GEAUX-TIGRES. Show GEAUX-TIGRES's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]There's a chance Pedey and CC could catch on fire and have the best final 110 game numbers at their positions as well. That's a good potential for 7 top hitters out of 9 positions from here on out...
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    I would set my goals a wee bit higher. how about a WS? stats are for losers.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from billsrul. Show billsrul's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Ortiz is the AL's best DH, I guess (because Micheal Young is really more of a utility player than a DH, though Young is probably more valuable to the Rangers than Ortiz is to the Red Sox).  Youk is maybe the AL's best hitter at 3B, but I'd say that Beltre or even A-Rod probably are better 3B than him (Beltre is so good in the field....).  I'd still take M-Cab over A-Gon, though both are nearly equal.  Beckett is in no way the Al's best starting pitcher.  Similarly, I'd way way way rather have Granderson than Ellsbury...
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from heobrien. Show heobrien's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]There's a chance Pedey and CC could catch on fire and have the best final 110 game numbers at their positions as well. That's a good potential for 7 top hitters out of 9 positions from here on out...
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    There is also good potential that pigs might start flying out of Francona's behind before the end of the season too, .. but I wouldn't bet on it.

     

    Beltre, Rodriguez or Youkilis, offensively they’re all nearly identical but defensively Youkilis is third behiind Beltre AND Rodriguez.  If anything, it's Youkilis that is “in the conversation”.

     

    Gonzalez is better than Teixeira, .. in what alternate universe??  While Gonzalez didn’t even win the GG in the NL last year Teixeira has won the AL GG the last four years in which he was in the AL for the entire season. Anointing Gonzalez a better 1B based on defense only works if one is willing suspend logic, reason and ignore facts as well as recent history.  Offensively Gonzalez has a better average and a few more rbi’s but only about two thirds the HRs.  Considering that Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter why would anybody consider Gonzalez a better offensive player?  The season is basically just getting started.

     

    Elisbury is better than Granderson?  That doesn’t even warrant a response.  If somebody truly believes that they are beyond hope, … I’d stand a better chance of explaining calculus to my cat than explaining how WRONG that notion is. 

     

    Gonzalez, Pedroia Youkilis, .. even Elibury are good ballplayers but pronouncing them the best at their position is an exercise in self delusion. 


     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Have to agree, heobrien.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxPatsCelts1988. Show SoxPatsCelts1988's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree? : There is also good potential that pigs might start flying out of Francona's behind before the end of the season too, .. but I wouldn't bet on it.   Beltre, Rodriguez or Youkilis, offensively they’re all nearly identical but defensively Youkilis is third behiind Beltre AND Rodriguez.  If anything, it's Youkilis that is “in the conversation”.   Gonzalez is better than Teixeira, .. in what alternate universe??   While Gonzalez didn’t even win the GG in the NL last year Teixeira has won the AL GG the last four years in which he was in the AL for the entire season. Anointing Gonzalez a better 1B based on defense only works if one is willing suspend logic, reason and ignore facts as well as recent history.   Offensively Gonzalez has a better average and a few more rbi’s but only about two thirds the HRs.   Considering that Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter why would anybody consider Gonzalez a better offensive player?  The season is basically just getting started.   Elisbury is better than Granderson?   That doesn’t even warrant a response.   If somebody truly believes that they are beyond hope, … I’d stand a better chance of explaining calculus to my cat than explaining how WRONG that notion is.     Gonzalez, Pedroia Youkilis, .. even Elibury are good ballplayers but pronouncing them the best at their position is an exercise in self delusion.  
    Posted by heobrien[/QUOTE]

    From a defensive standpoint, there is hardly any separation between A-Rod and Youkilis.  Offensively, you can argue that Youkilis is the best... especially with what appears to be the beginning of A-Rod's decline.

    Gonzalez is better than Teixeira... Just accept that fact.  Don't act like Teixeira is hands down better.  Defensively, I give Teixeira a VERY slight edge but you do realize that Gonzalez also has a few Gold Gloves, correct?  Gonzalez average is 80 points higher than Teixeria (who has been a sub .260 hitter over the past season and a half).  Gonzalez is the better player and he's younger.

    Ellsbury and Granderson are two different ballplayers.  Ellsbury arguably the best leadoff hitter in the game today.  Granderson is having a great year thus far but he has never hit for average and strikes out a ridiculous amount of times.  In the field they are probbably about equal but Ellsbury also has the edge on the basepaths.  For THIS year, Granderson is having the better year but I wouldn't be at all shocked to see him settle down a bit and end up on the same level as Ellsbury.
     
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    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?


     
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    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree? :  Gonzalez is better than Teixeira... Just accept that fact.  Don't act like Teixeira is hands down better.  Defensively, I give Teixeira a VERY slight edge but you do realize that Gonzalez also has a few Gold Gloves, correct?  Gonzalez average is 80 points higher than Teixeria (who has been a sub .260 hitter over the past season and a half).  Gonzalez is the better player and he's younger. Ellsbury and Granderson are two different ballplayers.
    Posted by SoxPatsCelts1988[/QUOTE]

    Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixeira entered Monday's games in a virtual tie in WAR*  and on the hitting side Gonzalez had an OPS+ of 148 and Teixeira an OPS+ of 147.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gonzaad01.shtml

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/teixema01.shtml

    * Wins Above Replacement as reported at FanGraphs
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from losmediasrojas. Show losmediasrojas's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    I don't care which player is best at whichever position as long as the team fits together as a whole.  Heck, the Giants won the World Series last year and probably didn't have the best player at any position except for maybe catcher. 
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Skadude22. Show Skadude22's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Tim Lincecum.

    Also, Ellsbury's BA is 16 points higher than Granderson's at last check.  Unless you are comparing them by power numbers alone, it's hard to argue that Granderson's even having a better year this year. 

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pft2. Show pft2's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Have to disagree about Youk.  Beltre is a far better defender, and has been an RBI machine.

    Granderson is a slam dunk for CF, offensively and defensively.

    A-Gon,Papi,Beckett deserve the nod for best at their position.

     


     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from pft2. Show pft2's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]I heard Rob Bradford talk about that on the radio a few hours ago.  I think the best way to put it is that all of these guys are "arguably the best" with the exception of David Ortiz who is hands down the best.  The fact that there's 5 guys even as "arguably the best" shows just how good this team is.
    Posted by SoxPatsCelts1988[/QUOTE]


    Arguably the best for the Yankees include A-Rod, Teixeira, Granderson, Gardner 9due to his defense), and Cano.  Some might add CC there as well since players are not judged on 10 starts through May. 

    On the Red Sox side I would add Pedey, since he is 1 hot streak away from getting his numbers to where they should be and he is better defensively than Cano
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxPatsCelts1988. Show SoxPatsCelts1988's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree? : Arguably the best for the Yankees include A-Rod, Teixeira, Granderson, Gardner 9due to his defense), and Cano.  Some might add CC there as well since players are not judged on 10 starts through May.  On the Red Sox side I would add Pedey, since he is 1 hot streak away from getting his numbers to where they should be and he is better defensively than Cano
    Posted by pft2[/QUOTE]

    Um, there's no way Brett Gardner belongs on any list like that.  Are you kidding me?  .253, 3HR, 13RBI.  Please.  If he belongs then so do 50 other outfielders.

    I wouldn't put Pedroia on that list because as things stand right now he's not arguably the best.  Cano is hands down better.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Gonzalez has more rbi's and more runs than Teixeira, so he gets the edge.  Defensively, they're about equal.  Dingers don't mean much if they ain't driving in runs.

    Granderson has a bigger edge over Ellsbury.  Jake has more SBs and hits, but Granderson has a lot more runs and rbi's.  Equal on defense, maybe. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from --The---Babe-1. Show --The---Babe-1's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    It's a joke that they put youk and ellsbury on this list, right?
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Youk certainly deserves consideration.  He's got the highest OPS and WAR of any AL 3B.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]Youk certainly deserves consideration.  He's got the highest OPS and WAR of any AL 3B.
    Posted by Hfxsoxnut[/QUOTE]
    According to FanGraphs, Kevin Youkilis does not have the highest WAR among AL thirdbasemen:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=3b&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

    ... although Youkilis has the WAR edge at Baseball Reference:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/y/youklke01.shtml
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from andrewmitch. Show andrewmitch's posts

    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    Not sure about Beckett however, when he takes the mound I believe we are going to win the game........

     
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    Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?

    In Response to Re: Red Sox have five players who are the best in the American League at their respective positions. Do you agree?:
    [QUOTE]Not sure about Beckett however, when he takes the mound I believe we are going to win the game........
    Posted by andrewmitch[/QUOTE]

    Really?  Here's what you posted in April.

    www.boston.com/community/persona.html?UID=69aeabbe1fa29fa9ee22fa0d93e6937d&plckUserId=69aeabbe1fa29fa9ee22fa0d93e6937d">
    Posts: 10085
    First: 6/4/2005
    Last: 5/31/2011
    The only way to salvage the nightmare contract that Theo bought us in Beckett is to move him into the pen.  He seems to do OK the first time through a line up......after that it's BP.....
     
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