On MLB Network on Thursday night, they continued their rankings of the top ten players at each position. Two weeks ago, Andrew McCutchen was named the fourth best center fielder. Last week, Gerrit Cole missed the top ten list done by the Shredder, which is just their name for the picks made by a computer for the show. There were also five guests on the show and two of them placed Cole in their top ten. McCutchen also did better among the guests on the show. The Pirates came up empty at both shortstop and first base.
This week, they are covering third basemen and left fielders. I decided to start a running article, which will be updated along with the show(left fielders start at 10pm). Jung-Ho Kang was picked as the seventh best third baseman by the Shredder. The other picks from the show will be added as they are announced. Kang was ranked ahead of Matt Carpenter, Kyle Seager and Todd Frazier in the top ten. He was one spot behind Nolan Arenado and two spots below Justin Turner.
Update 9:50 PM: Vince Gennaro, who is the president of SABR, had Kang ranked #10. Bill James noted that he probably overlooked Kang for his list and he should have made it.
Mike Petriello, who is a baseball analyst for MLB.com, did not rank Kang in his top ten and mentioned the injury scared him off.
Brian Kenny and Mike Lowell hosted the show and neither included Kang in their top ten.
Left fielders will be coming up soon. Starling Marte was ranked #4 by the Shredder last year. Bill James has continually ignored Marte and talked him down each of the last two years, saying that he wasn’t even considered for the top ten. It will be interesting to see if he finally admits he is wrong, or continues to downplay Marte’s value. Stay tuned.
Update 10:45 PM: The left field program included all of the same people, except Cliff Floyd in the place of Mike Lowell.
Petriello has Marte ranked third.
Gennaro has him ranked ninth(!)
The one many people were waiting for…Bill James has him all the way up to fourth, so he is coming around on Marte finally. Gennaro may have inherited his dislike with his ranking. James did add in that the position is very weak and most of the players on the list are just average players, so he had to get a jab in, though it wasn’t directed towards Marte specifically.
Kenny mentioned he has Marte first overall, while Floyd and the Shredder will be ranking him shortly.
Update 10:55 PM: Marte ended up ranked second overall by the Shredder, falling behind Michael Brantley.
Cliff Floyd had him ranked fourth. Among the names ahead of Marte on the various lists are Brantley, Alex Gordon, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes.