Early Season Triple Crown Contenders

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

It’s not often someone wins the Triple Crown in Major League Baseball, although Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera won it 2012, no one had previously won it in 45 years at that time. Still with a hot start to a season, we always speculate that the next one could happen this season. Lets take a look at both the American and National League contenders so far to win the Triple Crown.

American League

 

Nelson Cruz

It was not too long ago Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners served a suspension for performance enhancing drugs but that’s now behind him and he has been raking the ball in 2015. Cruz currently has 17 home runs (1st in the AL), 35 runs batted in (Tied for 2nd in the AL), and is batting .341 (3rd in the AL). Cruz is 1 of 2 players in the American League to hold a slugging percentage over .600 and his is actually approaching .700 (.688).

Prince Fielder

Cruz looks to be the only strong threat at this point but if Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers can get hot with the long ball he could be a real threat. Fielder is currently hitting .365 (1st in the AL), with 35 runs batted in (Tied for 2nd in the AL), and has 9 home runs (Tied for 11th in the AL). Fielder has hit over 35 home runs in a season 3 times in his career and is no stranger to the long ball, so it would not be a huge surprise if he closed the home run gap in the coming months.

National League

 

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals has absolutely been on a tear. For the month of May, Harper is hitting .384 with 11 home runs, and 26 runs batted in. On the season, he has 16 home runs (1st in the NL), 41 runs batted in (2nd in the NL), and is hitting .333 (Tied for 4th in the NL). Certainly if he continues to hit the way he has in May, he stands a great chance to win the Triple Crown.

Paul Goldschmidt

Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks has always been viewed as a great balance hitter who can get on base, hit for power, and knock runners in. While he does all of these very well, he’s not dominant in enough categories. At this point he’s hitting .338 (3rd in the NL), with 12 home runs (Tied for 4th in the NL), and has 38 runs batted in (3rd in the NL). He’s in striking distance of each category here but it’ll be a challenge for him to make a push to lead the league in all three categories.

from Will Selva: Sports Broadcasting http://ift.tt/1KlRyAA

Advertisements

New Look 49ers

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

With training camp just around the corner, it’s almost time for the NFL again. When the San Francisco 49ers report for training camp, there will be a lot of new faces, starting with the head coach. Jim Harbaugh left the team amid reports he was going to be fired and took the University of Michigan head coaching vacancy. Enter Jim Tomsula, former 49ers defensive line coach, now 49ers head coach. The team as a whole looks different as well.

Will Selva - Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis

On offense, longtime running back Frank Gore almost signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but eventually signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree signed with the Raiders and guard Mike Iupati signed with the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers did bring in wide receiver Torrey Smith from the Baltimore Ravens to play opposite of Anquan Boldin. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson lasted just 1 season with the team and signed with the San Diego Chargers following his release from San Francisco. With Gore’s departure, the 49ers signed Reggie Bush to help handle the load in the backfield with Carlos Hyde.

The defense took an even larger hit. All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis shockingly retired at the age of 30. You can’t speak to how big of a loss Willis is to a team. Regarded as one of the best linebackers in the game, you can’t just replace him with anyone. The 49ers also lost All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith. A phenomenal player, Smith retiring wasn’t as big of a shock being that he was turning 36 by the start of the 2015 season. Smith compiled 87 career sacks but provided a tremendous amount of run stuffing efforts that don’t make the stat book. Another player that retired was linebacker Chris Borland. Borland was just 24 years old and shocked not only the organization but the league with his announcement. They have added Darnell Dockett on the line but he is coming off an ACL tear from last August and is 33 years old.

There will be many new faces in the 49ers locker room this season. It’ll be interesting to see if the 49ers can keep up in the ultra competitive NFC West. They have a great dynamic duo now in Boldin and Smith that should provide Kaepernick with deep ball and short over the middle opportunities. Having Reggie Bush available out of the backfield on 3rd downs should provide a great safety net for Kaepernick when he’s in trouble.

from Will Selva: Sports http://ift.tt/1LGMNm9

Here Come the San Francisco Giants

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

Will Selva - SF GiantsAfter starting the season 4-10, 5th in their own division, the Giants are beginning to hit their stride. Currently on a 5 game winning streak and having won 7 of their last 10, the Giants are now 22-18, good for second in the NL West. Lets take a look at what has changed and gone right for the Giants since their slow start.

SP Madison Bumgarner

After starting 1-1 with an ERA over 5, Bumgarner has settled down. It was noted that he may struggle because he had thrown 270 innings between last regular and postseason. In three starts for the month of May, Bumgarner is 2-1 and sporting a 2.33 ERA. For the year, he’s now 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA. He has certainly improved since early on and I expect his numbers to get even better has the Giants get more competitive in the NL West.

C Buster Posey

Buster Posey was also off to a slow start hitting .229 with just 2 home runs and 6 runs batted in. Posey is now hitting right on par with his career .307 average with a .308 average. He also has 7 home runs to go with 21 runs batted in. He only has 3 doubles which is a bit concerning but he should find the gaps sooner or later.

Giants Hitting Overall

The Giants are hitting as a team .268, good for fourth in the MLB. A lot of this rides on Angel Pagan, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Nori Aoki, Joe Panik, and Matt Duffy who all hold averages over .286. Nori Aoki has also flashed some speed on the base paths having swiped 10 bags this season. Belt, Pagan, and Posey all have averages over .300 for the season.

The Giants just got Hunter Pence back and hope to have pitcher Matt Cain back around the All-Star break. With the Giants also in the market for a third baseman, look out for the upward trending San Francisco Giants.

from Will Selva: Sports http://ift.tt/1IRYoiG