Notre Dame recruiting continues to roll with the punches after they landed their 10th commitment today in the 2010 recruiting class with California defensive end Justin Utupo. Utupo is a very important commitment in that the Irish are always in desperate need of defensive lineman especially ones with the physical and speed presence at strongside end that Utupo possesses.
In just the past week or two Notre Dame has gotten a QB in Andrew Hendrix, a defensive end in Blake Leuders, and two defensive backs in Lo Wood and Chris Badger. There is little doubt that Charlie Weis and his staff are doing an excellent job of bringing in recruits despite a combined 10 wins in the last two seasons.
I've already gone on record as saying Notre Dame will beat USC on October 17th, 2009 due in large part by the type and quantity of elite football recruits that are now starters at Notre Dame. This isn't your bend over Notre Dame team with speed and strength anymore. These kids can play. Now it's just a matter of the coaches putting them in the right spot to execute.
Monday, July 06, 2009
After watching Tim "The Freak" Lincecum's throw yet another gem the other night I thought to myself who would I rather have starting a game right now. I came up with some names but right now the 2008 NL Cy Young Winner would be my pick to take the hill if I needed to win a crucial game. Here is my top 10 list and feel free to add or subtract guys in the comment section.
1. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants-He has a legitimate shot at the Triple Crown for starting pitchers (wins, ERA, and K's) and is only getting better. He may be small in stature but right now his hair is growing almost as fast as his legend. He leads the Majors in K's with 141, is second in ERA at 2.23 and is first in a lot of other categories such as complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, and batters faced in the National League. If I had to win a game 7 right now he would be my choice.
2. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals-Greinke has a legitimate argument as the best pitcher in baseball right now. He leads the majors in ERA, wins and complete games. Despite a recent rough spot he has been clearly the best pitcher in the American League this year. Zack Attack has brought back some much needed electricity to Kaffmaun Stadium.
3. Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays-"Doc" Halladay is again putting up superb pitching numbers for the Blue Jays. He is top 5 in almost every important pitching category when it comes to starting pitchers. He is a warrior who pitches deep into games and you don't have to worry about pitch counts when it comes to Halladay.
4. Johan Santana, New York Mets-The best lefty in the game right now. Santana has lived up to his contract and expectations since signing his fat contract for the New York Mets in 2008. His change-up leaves hitters flailing and the 2-time Cy Young winner has a good shot of at least finishing in the top 5 for voting for another one for the 6th consecutive season.
5. Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks-Haren is one of the few pitchers who I will stop doing everything at a moment and just watch him pitch. He hits both corners of the plate with varying speeds with pinpoint control. It amazes me that both the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland A's, two franchises known to make good baseball business decisions in the past, have traded the young pitching ace. At 28 years old is coming into his own and should be a serious contender for his first Cy Young award this season.
6. Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox-This guy is a bull. His career numbers are not outstanding but if you want to win a game in the postseason there isn't many if any pitchers I would pick before him. He is old school in the way he carries himself. Seems arrogant and cocky but every team would love to have him manning the hill when the game is on the line. Reminds me of a young John Smoltz.
7. Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins-At 25 years old Johnson is establishing himself as an elite starting pitcher on the verge of a tremendous payday. He has never won more than 12 games in a season (rookie year by the way) but his 6'7 presence on the mound is intimidating and he has the stuff to win 20 games a season for a long time. His slider and change-up are very effective with his mid 90's fastball.
8. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees-Big C.C. doesn't look like your prototypical pitcher. In fact you would think he would be playing offensive line for the Jets instead of throwing 3 plus pitches for strikes for the New York Yankees. He got the Milwaukee Brewers into the playoffs basically by himself last season and will be considered a big reason why the Yankees make it back to the postseason this year.
9. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners-King Felix has a fastball that reaches mid to upper 90's but what makes him so damn effective is his knee buckling curve. At only 23 years old he has amazing command and poise. He should establish himself as one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball by the end of this season and I am probably being short sided with him as low as 9 right now.
10. Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians-Lee has had his struggles this season but the 2008 Cy Young Award winner has the ability to bounce back in a big way. His slider is simply filthy and it has a tendency to run into right handed hitters thus inducing broken bats and grounders.
Just missed the cut: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers; Edwin Jackson, Detroit Tigers; Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants; Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers; Javier Vasquez, Atlanta Braves
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 10:23 AM