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World Series Preview

Since my prognosticating skills are so fantastic, I thought I’d put out a little preview/primer for the World Series matchup between the Rangers and the Giants and to congratulate Benjie Molina on his World Series ring that he’s now guaranteed.

Let’s take a look at the position by position breakdown.

Catchers
Buster Posey (.305/.357/.505) vs. Benjie Molina (.249/.297/.326)/Matt Treanor (.211/.287/.308):  The raw numbers offensively very clearly favor the Giants. It’s not quite that simple, though, it’s close. The Giants traded Molina to get Posey starts every day behind the plate and Posey responded with his receiving skills advancing as the season progressed. He’s still not on the level of Molina who many of the Giants pitching staff credit for their progression, but he’s good. Molina is on the team for his defensive ability and everything he gives on offense is a bonus. He’s been pretty good offensively, though, in the playoffs. Matt Treanor is a career backup who is C.J. Wilson’s personal catcher. I don’t like personal catchers, especially in the playoffs.
Advantage: Giants
First Basemen
Aubrey Huff (.290/.385/.506) vs. Mitch Moreland (.255/.364/.469):
Aubrey Huff had his second great season in three years, this time carrying the Giants offense for a time when they were struggling to score runs. Defensively, he’s not great, but he’s perfectly adequate there. He’s a legitimate middle of the order bat. Mitch Moreland is a young guy who just turned 25 and got his first taste of the Majors this year after Justin Smoak was traded and Chris Davis couldn’t stop striking out. I’ve seen a Todd Walker comparison, and that makes some sense. He’s a good hitter, especially for someone asked to hit in the bottom of the order.
Advantage: Giants
Second basemen
Freddy Sanchez (.292/.342/.397) vs. Ian Kinsler (.286/.382/.412):
Freddy Sanchez has always been a high average, low-ish power guy and that hasn’t changed at all this year. He can get a few hits, will walk every fourth or fifth game and will make the routine plays and some non-routine plays at second base. He’s a solid player. Ian Kinsler saw his power take a bit of a nosedive after hitting 31 homers last year, he hit just 9 (in 103 games) this season. His bat still possesses that pop plus he’s a very patient hitter.
Advantage: Rangers
Third basemen
Pablo Sandoval (.268/.323/.409) vs. Michael Young (.284/.330/.444):
I’m not sure what the Giants are going to do at third base in the World Series, and I’m not sure they know either. For now, though, I’ll go with the man who manned third base for most of the season. Kung Fu Panda, as he is known in San Francisco had a very tough follow-up to his breakout 2009 season. He struggles on the road and his defense has been pretty bad in the playoffs forcing Mike Fontenot into some starts. Michael Young, on the other hand, is the leader of the Texas Rangers. While others’ performance may surpass his, nobody is more respected in the clubhouse than Young. He’s a solid hitter whose power is dwindling as he ages, but he can still square up a ball and hit it a long way. He’s also very good defensively.
Advantage: Rangers
Shortstops
Juan Uribe (.248/.310/.440) vs. Elvis Andrus (.265/.342/.301):
Uribe had a typical Uribe season this year hitting for some pop and playing pretty decent defense. He’s not typically a difference maker, though his homer in Game 6 was the difference. He’s a good guy to have on a team, but not a superstar. Teams need guys like him, though. Elvis Andrus may one day be a superstar. He can hit a little and he’s got a dazzling glove, but he doesn’t have enough power to give defenses honest. He will work a walk and make his way on base and then he can wreak havoc with his speed.
Advantage: Push
Outfielders
Pat Burrell (.252/.348/.469)/Andres Torres (.268/.343/.479)/Cody Ross (.269/.322/.413) vs. Nelson Cruz (.318/.374/.576/Josh Hamilton (.359/.411/.633)/David Murphy (.291/.358/.449)/Jeff Francouer (.249/.300/.383):
I chose to bunch the outfielders together because the Rangers play their outfield as a unit and it’s easier to make comparisons this way. Overall, no outfield hits like the Texas outfield, led by Cruz and Hamilton. David Murphy is an excellent complementary piece to those two and Jeff Francouer if used correctly (only vs. lefties) isn’t a bad player to have either. The Giants outfield is pretty decent offensively, but Andres Torres appears to be running out of gas and Cody Ross just isn’t this good, so the slipper could come off him at any time. Pat Burrell has been a revelation since coming to San Francisco, but he can’t carry the outfield offense by himself.
Advantage: Rangers 3x

I’ll dive into the pitching and the coaching/managing tomorrow. Tune in then!

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