Sunday, November 13, 2016

The All-Hype Team: In Memory of Jose Fernandez

There has been a lot of talk recently about creating an award in memory of the late Jose Fernandez, something to reward the player who plays with the most heart, passion, and fun. While that will certainly be discussed among MLB executives, here at Baseball MTJAG we are announcing our All-Hype team, consisting of the players that I consider the 25 most exciting to watch, who play with the most heart and passion.

STARTING LINEUP
Leading off: 3B Eduardo Nunez
While Nunez might not be the first person who comes to mind when you think "star third baseman", he is one of the most exciting players to watch with his hustle and recklessness. Nunez is the definition of all-out effort, taking extra bases on routine base hits, as you can see in this 4-hit game with a double and two triples.


Batting second: 1B Adrian Beltre
Don't worry, I didn't forget about Beltre. The now 37 year old is still a solid defender, but Nunez's youth, athleticism, and arm push him across the infield, which is probably better for his knees anyway. Despite his age and experience, Beltre still plays the game like he's 25, both ability-wise and fun-wise, especially with his antics with shortstop Elvis Andrus.











Batting third: RF Bryce Harper
The king of bat flips, Harper's antics were initially received as cocky and arrogant. But as he lived up to his phenom status, the attitude also toned down a bit, but he still plays with so much flair and excitement that it's impossible not to love watching him play.

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Batting cleanup: DH Jose Bautista
If Harper is the king of bat flips, then Bautista is the supreme overlord. A veteran like Beltre, Bautista still wears his emotions on his sleeve. He cleared benches and divided baseball fans over his controversial bat flip in the ALDS against the Rangers in 2015.

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Batting fifth: LF Hunter Pence
He's just weird.

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Batting sixth: SS Javier Baez
Making himself a household name in the playoffs, Baez, as many on Twitter have stated, has taken Fernandez's torch and carried it on. He plays with so much heart and energy, every single at-bat and fielding chance is a must-watch.

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Batting seventh: C Francisco Cervelli
Catchers: usually calm, cool, and collected, the ones who hold back the fights and try to prevent hitters from charging the mound. Cervelli is special though. When he first made it to the big leagues, his fist pumps, clapping, and screaming stirred up quite the riot. Now, it's simply part of who he is, and the Yankees and Pirates fans love him for it.

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Batting eighth: 2B Brandon Phillips
The flamboyant Reds second baseman, Phillips is nearing the end of his career, but he still plays with the excitement and flair of a rookie. His antics, like his behind the back tosses, glove flips, and intentionally having baserunners slide into his rear end, may be a bit unnecessary and more reminiscent of Domingo Ayala, but it's made fans love Phillips for who he is.

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Batting ninth: CF Carlos Gomez
Bat flips. Showboating. Slow trots around the bases. The dabbing. Gomez has his fair share of haters for his "sexy" style of play, especially when he struggles, but he consistently gives the game 100% of his effort and by all accounts, is a tremendous teammate who is a great clubhouse presence.


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BENCH
Backup catcher: C Stephen Vogt
Much more like a traditional calm catcher than Cervelli, Vogt has still drawn a cult-like following with his classic barehand-pine tar batting style, journeyman minor leaguer story, and his clutch hitting. He is one of the biggest personalities in the game with his imitations on MLB Network, as well as the fan favorite subject of the "I Believe in Stephen Vogt" chant in Oakland.

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Fourth outfielder: OF Ichiro
No, Ichiro does not scream and dab and fist pump like the other guys on this list. In fact, you can make a case for him being the exact opposite, the way he plays with traditional respect for the game. But off the field he also has another side, with the profanity-laced pre-All Star Game speeches, learning Spanish solely for the purpose of talking trash, and this wonderful interview with Bob Costas. He may be a Japanese icon of discipline, but he is also one of the most fun players to watch of all time.

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Backup infielder: 2B/3B Brett Lawrie
The true "bro", the heavily-tatted, "pepp mocha-crushing" Lawrie is one of the most energetic players in the game. Sure, he gets hurt a lot, and the aggressiveness makes him injury-prone and a free-swinger, but the energy and ferocity that he plays with is what makes him a fan favorite

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Backup infielder: INF Munenori Kawasaki
While he isn't much of a hitter, Kawasaki is the epitome of spunk. He's a veteran of over a decade of pro baseball, yet he still plays with the same kind of fun as a Little Leaguer, while conducting some of the funniest interviews in the league.

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STARTING ROTATION
Ace: RHP Bartolo Colon
Ok, so he isn't the best pitcher on this rotation. But as we all know, this list isn't about how talented someone is, it's about playing the game with energy and making baseball fun. Bartolo proves that anyone can succeed, including obese 43-year olds who would look more comfortable on the couch. Baseball Reference says his nickname is the "Big Sexy". I concur.

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#2: RHP Chris Archer
Articulate and intelligent, as he demonstrated filling in the ESPN broadcast booth. His pitching knowledge is unreal, and so is the energy and excitement he pitches with. He's fun to watch now and will only get better in years to come.

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#3: RHP Marcus Stroman
Opening Day starter? Check. Duke degree? Check. Amateur rapper? Check. Part-time fashion designer? Check. Marcus Stroman is not just a ballplayer, he is a personality. He even has a trademark catchphrase! As he says, height doesn't measure heart, and all 5'8'' of him shows that on the mound every time he pitches. 

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#4: RHP Lance McCullers
Big fastball. Big curveball. Big emotions. McCullers pitches amped up every time he takes the mound. It's not uncommon to see him rock the Batman cleats on the hill, fist pumping and screaming as he strikes out the side.


#5: RHP Joe Musgrove
A teammate of McCullers', the rookie Musgrove is a command/control artist. Most of these guys are calm and collected, but Musgrove breaks these stereotypes, pitching with the same kind of energy as the guys above.


BULLPEN
Closer: RHP Ken Giles
I promise, no more Astros pitchers after this. But Giles pitches with the most adrenaline out of anybody I've ever seen, with the triple digit heat and the post-lockdown yell.

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Set-up man: RHP Derek Law
Even if the Giants took an early exit in the NLDS, none of us will ever forget Law's towel waving. Outside of being a great cheerleader, he's pretty good at pitching too.

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Set-up man: LHP Sean Doolittle
Cut from a different cloth than many of the others, Doolittle is on here because of what he brings to the baseball community. He invited Syrian refugees over for Thanksgiving, runs a great Twitter account, and even played imaginary baseball with a little kid. Truly a great ballplayer but an even better human being.

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Middle reliever: RHP Chad Qualls
Enjoy!

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Middle reliever: RHP Fernando Rodney
Rodney has always played with too much swagger, with the sideways ballcap and the shooting arrows. But it's worked for over a decade, and its why fans love him so much.

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Middle reliever: RHP Jason Grilli
Old man Grilli has endured a lot over the course of his career, with two major comebacks, once with the Pirates and again with the Braves. But despite the adversity, one thing has never changed and it is his enthusiasm for the game.

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Long man: LHP Jamie Moyer
Okay, I just nearly made a complete 25-man roster, with a full bench, rotation, bullpen, everything. I'm out of ideas. What the hell, why not, Moyer is the symbol of grit and determination, and he could probably still get hitters out today. Here he is beating out an infield single at age 49. Give this man some credit.

That concludes the 25-man roster of, in my opinion, the most fun-to-watch players in the game. Agree? Disagree? Leave suggestions in the comments for anyone I might have missed!

5 comments:

  1. http://mlb.mlb.com/images/5/3/6/134585536/070315_tbnyy_pigeonattack_med_m5gi7cxr.gif

    https://i.imgur.com/yPt0Jqh.gifv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha definitely, Kiermaier would have been a good one.

      Delete
  2. I think that Salvador Perez should have been in there, he is a fun guy to watch and he plays hard, he should of been the starting catcher on this team

    ReplyDelete
  3. On a daily basis, baseball scouts will have to acquire profound understanding of players and coaches on a very personal level. more detail

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