Managers always preach that the intangibles are what win games. Simple things like running out a ground ball, hustling on a weak pop up, fielding a ground ball and stealing a base in a big spot are all things that a manager wishes everyone on his club could do. Unfortunately, everybody can't. That's why these players are so valuable.
I would first like to start with three players who, I feel, deserve some sort of recognition. They failed to crack my Top 10, yet they are deserving of something.
David Murphy (Rangers), Trevor Crowe (Indians) and Jamey Carroll (Dodgers) are players who their respective managers can count on to do whatever they ask.
Although a regular starter on the American League Champion Rangers last season, David Murphy figures to be relegated to a bench role this season. The signing of Adrian Beltre has since shifted Michael Young to the full time DH position which leaves Murphy as the odd man out. No big deal, though. Manager Ron Washington will find ways to get Murphy into the game, whether it be for late game defense, a pinch hit, or even a pinch run. Murphy is still a vital piece to the Texas Rangers.
Yeah, I know what you're all thinking. Somebody on the Indians is useful? Trevor Crowe is a player that almost any team would love to have. Crowe can play any position in the outfield, and he can cover a lot of ground. Not only is he fast, he is a go-getter. Crowe runs out every ball he hits, and he never takes a break on defense.
He was somewhat of a regular last season due to the injury to Grady Sizemore, and he performed pretty well in the full time role. He hit a respectable .251 with 2 homers, 36 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases. That kind of speed coming off of the bench this season will be a huge asset for the Indians in what looks to be another disappointing season.
Finally, Jamey Carroll. Carroll played all over the field last season, appearing in 133 games for the Dodgers. He played second base mostly, with appearances at shortstop, third base and even left field. He put up a very respectable .291 average, with 23 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in just 351 at bats. He may not have blinding speed, but he hustles and is as steady as a defender as they come.
And now, to the Top 10.