The MLB All Value team, haiku style

You can blame Allen Craig for this.

Well, for the MLB All Value part, at least. I was reading a story this morning in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about how well Craig has performed at first base while filling in for Lance Berkman at approximately 1/60th the cost of the Cardinals’ last first baseman (OK, the story wasn’t really about that, but it was about Craig’s sweetness at the plate).

The haiku part? My coffee-deprived brain at 6:30 a.m. says hello.

The semi-serious explanation: This is a fun way to give a big-picture snap shot of some surprising performances so far this season, or at least put some not-so-surprising performances in their proper perspective.

Last thing: If we did a utility spot, Craig would get it. But we’re not doing a utility spot, and Craig’s not a true utility guy, anyway.

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and all contract figures courtesy of Cot’s.

Note: Stats are through May 15, 2012.

* * *

Catcher: Matt Wieters, Orioles

Digits: .322/.455/.500, 8 HR, 1.8 WAR, $500K

Haiku: A long time coming/Wieters’ breakout in B-more/Not Mauer money

First base: Bryan LaHair, Cubs

Digits: .352/.445/.713, 10 HR, 2.0 WAR, $4825K

Haiku: Wrigleyville surprise/Keeping it warm for Rizzo/Cubs fans need something

Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros

Digits: .309/.354/.449, 1.2 WAR, $483K

Haiku: Little man can rake/He wil sure love Arlington/But not King Felix

Shortstop: Starlin Castro, Cubs

Digits: .331/.346/.432, 1.2 WAR, $567K

Haiku: A better Starlin/Who still needs to take a walk/Who picked the soundtrack?

Third base: Mike Moustakas, Royals

Digits: .310/.371/.540, 1.9 WAR, $487,250

Haiku: Fans know him as Moose/Lost in Hosmer-mania/Bright spot in dark days

Right field: Jason Heyward, Braves

Digits: .282/.348/.463, 1.4 WAR, $565K

Haiku: Improved O-B-P/Know he’s still just twenty-two/The forgotten child

Center field: Austin Jackson, Tigers

Digits: .323/.409/.541, 2.5 WAR, $500K

Haiku: No, he ain’t Miggy/Nor the big-bopping Fielder/But boy’s been damn good

Left Field: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mets

Digits: .294/.370/.412, 0.9 WAR, Salary Unknown

Haiku: Tongue-twisting last name/Salary number mystery/Did Madoff steal it?

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz, Red Sox

Digits: .353/.417/.633, 8 HR, 1.5 WAR, $14.575

Haiku: You no Big Papi/Great New Era commercial/So ignoring cash

Starting pitcher: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

Digits: 2.25 ERA, 48 IP, 10.5 K/9, 1.5 WAR, $3M

Haiku: Arsenal from God/To be restrained by limit/Good luck with that Davey

Starting pitcher: Derek Holland, Rangers

Digits: 3.86 ERA, 47.2 IP, 1.2 WAR, $1M

Haiku: He cuts down the walks/Could contend for Cy Youngs, still/World’s best weatherman

Starting pitcher: Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

Digits: 2.14 ERA, 46.1 IP, 1.2 WAR, $2.3M

Haiku: Nats’ blue-collar arm/Having eye-opening year/Will be huge this fall

Relief pitcher: Aroldis Chapman, Reds

Digits: 0.00 ERA, 32 K’s, 18.1 IP, 1.1 WAR, $2M

Haiku: Great fastballs of fire/Striking fear in hearts of men/Hey Dusty, start him

Relief pitcher: John Axford, Brewers

Digits: 5.56 ERA, 0.6 WAR, $525K

Haiku: Chew on this stat heads/Five-point-five-six E-R-A/But point-nine-three FIP

Money Spent: $26,984,750 + one Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Or: Not one year of Albert Pujols

Raw value: 20.0 WAR

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