MLB Network will be wrapper up their rankings of the top ten players by position tonight. They will have an hour long show for the top relief pitchers and another for the top shortstops. The first show is tonight at 6 PM EST.
If you’ve been watching this series, it hasn’t been a fun one for the Pittsburgh Pirates or their fans. Each show has two hosts, three experts on a panel, and then the “Shredder”, which is computer-based picks that take everything into account. The idea is to find the top ten players at each position.
We did a live discussion for the left field and center field shows two weeks ago. Starling Marte did well, finishing in the top ten on four of the six lists, with a high of fifth place. He is the only Pirate player so far to make the top ten for the show’s main list.
Francisco Cervelli was ranked ninth and tenth by Brian Kenny and Joe Girardi, who were the two hosts of the show. He didn’t make any of the other four lists. The Pirates came up completely empty at 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, RF and starting pitcher. They didn’t even have an option on the shortstop list to choose from, so that will be another empty spot.
That leaves Felipe Vazquez, who had a 2.70 ERA, a 2.43 FIP, a 1.23 WHIP, with 89 strikeouts and 37 saves in 70 innings last year. Here is the list of players who are considered the top 28 relievers:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 5, 2019
So while I’m not answering the question in the title, I will be watching along and updating this post with the results. Comments are open for your guesses, complaints with their lists, or any other random Pittsburgh Pirates comments. I believe the relief pitcher show is on first, though the MLB Network TV schedule online lists both shows the same (top ten right now), so you can’t tell by looking at their page.
UPDATE: Vazquez ranks #6 by the Shredder. More rankings to come.
Here’s the Shredder’s top ten:
- Craig Kimbrel
- Sean Doolittle
- Josh Hader
- Edwin Diaz
- Blake Treinen
- Felipe Vazquez
- Chad Green
- Aroldis Chapman
- Jose Leclerc
- Brandon Morrow
Among the expert panel, Ben Lindbergh ranked Vazquez sixth, while Mike Petriello and Vince Gennaro didn’t have him top ten. Brian Kenny and Dan Plesac will reveal their rankings soon.
Plesac has Vazquez ranked fourth, while Kenny didn’t rank him. So I guess the answer to the title is…sort of? He ranked fourth, sixth, sixth and three outside the top ten.