Spring training has barely begun, but the stories are already in motion. Everyone seems ready to either build on the success of last season or move on from what was a disappointing 2012.
Naturally, the hype is building, but not all of it is deserved.
Certain players have been receiving a lot of attention for a variety of reasons, but the stories are really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of the baseball season. Here are 10 of the most overblown ones.
There has been a lot of drama swirling around Delmon Young. Obviously, when a contingent clause is added to his contract dictating that he keep his weight down, then you certainly have a topic for conversation.
However, I really have to wonder how big of a deal he really is. The Philadelphia Phillies brought him in as another outfield option. He is expected to certainly contribute, but it seems like a much bigger deal has been made out of his contract and subsequent injury than was probably necessary.
Aroldis Chapman was an excellent closer last season, so the news that he is going to transition to the starting rotation obviously brought about a lot of conversation.
I do not believe that he is being overhyped because he will be ineffective. Rather, because he is trying to make this transition, the Cincinnati Reds are going to be very careful with him and probably restrict his workload for a while. It might be a little while before we see him emerge as the dominant starter that he easily could become.
I don’t mean to be overly negative, but it would be incredibly surprising to see R.A. Dickey put together another year like 2012. Given the size of the package the Toronto Blue Jays had to surrender to bring him north of the border, it seems like they are expecting another Cy Young-quality season.
The fact that he is now in the American League East will certainly make a difference. Even though the National League East is a solid division, it doesn’t nearly have the firepower that his new division does. Consequently, I think that people might be expecting a little bit too much from Dickey if they expect a repeat performance.
I think that Wil Myers could have an amazing season in 2013. After essentially proving that he was the best hitter in minor league baseball, I think that he is capable of breaking out this year.
That is exactly where the problem lies, and I guess I am somewhat part of the problem. There is no guarantee that the Tampa Bay Rays will even start him in the majors at the end of spring training. Failing to live up to the hype would not necessarily be his fault, but if Tampa Bay holds him back, I guess you think that he is being overhyped right now.
I know that Shelby Miller has been a top prospect for a long time, and the St. Louis Cardinals have been waiting for him patiently.
This year, after making a relatively strong appearance at the end of the 2012 season with the big club, there is no doubt that expectations will be high. However, in AAA last year, he only was able to go 11-10 with a 4.74 ERA. I know that he has talent, but I want to see the results come back before I get too excited.
Somehow, even though he is going to be missing substantial time due to injury this season, we always find a way to talk about Alex Rodriguez. All you need to do is a little bit of research to find many articles on one of the best players of our era.
This excitement is obviously not due to his playing on the field, but there seems to be an awful lot of conversation regarding a third baseman who is admittedly on the decline and is losing a good portion of his season due to injury.
I love Billy Hamilton, and his base-stealing prowess can certainly change games from the top of the lineup.
Unfortunately, there will not be an awful lot of opportunity for him to shine this season, so even if we talk about him a lot and build up the hype, I would be surprised to see him play a substantial role for the Cincinnati Reds. They are already set at shortstop, and with a newly reinforced outfield, Hamilton will be the odd man out for a little while.
Logan Morrison seemed to be breaking out in 2011, but he had a difficult 2012 where he struggled with both injury and ineffectiveness.
Even though Miami fans might eventually hope that he will be able to pair with Giancarlo Stanton to form a stronger nucleus, he has some things to get together before that can happen. Specifically, he needs to rediscover his extra-base power that seemed to disappear last year.
Marco Scutaro was the hero as the San Francisco Giants went down the stretch last season. However, that was last season, and now we need to move on.
Scutaro is definitely a solid shortstop, and I think he will have a strong season. The problem lies in the fact that a strong season by his own career standards doesn’t match up to the numbers he posted last year in the playoffs. While the impression that he left last season should certainly be appreciated, it should not necessarily be expected for the rest of this season.
I think that Jurickson Profar has the potential to be one of the best players in baseball. Unfortunately, it appears as if he will not be able to get a full-time role this season.
The Texas Rangers already have Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus up the middle of their infield, so Profar will certainly play limited time at both positions. I am not saying that Profar will never be a great player, but I am saying that we should not get too excited this season only because he will most likely not have an opportunity to unleash all of his potential.
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