Friday, February 27, 2015

Top 10 MLB Network Right Now-Analysts

There's a Hall of Famer on the Shredder's analyst list!

Hello and welcome to the third and final installment of Top Ten MLB Network Right Now.  Over the past week, we have focused on the personalities of MLB Network in an effort to showcase the great talent that the network has to offer.

Each personality has been fit into their specific category based on their specific job description within the organizational workplace of MLB Network.  The two previous categories were Hosts and Reporters and Insiders.  In today's final rankings we focus on the individuals who are seemingly the most free to express their opinions swirling within the inner realms of their minds in the Analysts. The analysts have the biggest presence of the personalities in Secaucus.  Let's end the suspense.  Here are the Top 10 MLB Network Right Now Analysts edition according to the Sports Network Television Shredder:

1. Harold Reynolds-Yes the number one analyst spot on the Shredder's rankings is occupied by none other than the model of analyst consistency in Harold Reynolds.  Say what you will about this old school apologist, there's something to be said about his nearly 20-year career as an analyst post playing career.  Talk about bringing back excellent value as an analyst.  Reynolds has vastly improved from his rookie days at the World Wide leader in ESPN.  Looking into the future, Reynolds shows no signs of slowing down thanks to the added responsibility of covering the World Series on Fox for years to come.

2. John Smoltz-When you can lay claim to a very decorated Hall of Fame career you are virtually guaranteed of a spot in the Shredder's Top 10 MLB Network Right Now Analyst List.  The surprise here is that Smoltz doesn't own the top spot.  In any case, Smoltz has greatly utilized his Hall of Fame knowledge as a resourceful pitcher to his advantage.  It's no accident that he regularly appears as a color commentator on the network's Showcase game coverage throughout the regular season and playoffs.

3. Kevin Millar-The self-proclaimed 04 champion of the Boston Red Sox is unlike any analyst currently covering the sport right now.  Not too many analysts can lay claim to their very own unique and most definitely one-of-a-kind vernacular.  More times than not, Millar really does offer very good insight through that otherwise complicated language of his.

4. Dan Plesac-Plesac cracks the top 4 thanks to his veteran presence with the network.  The 18-year pitching veteran has brought that same longevity and work ethic to his resume as an excellent commentator on the game today.  He's also not fazed by his own antics of wearing kung fu Panda hats complete with karate sound effects in honor of Red Sox (that feels weird to type) third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

5. Eric Byrnes-The former Oakland Athletic has been a bastion of the new school era of progressiveness from the former player's point of view.  There's also a feisty quality in his analysis as evidenced by his weekly appearances on High Heat opposite Christopher 'Mad Dog' Russo.  His effortless nonstop energy is a huge advantage that he utilizes beautifully to the max.

6. Bill Ripken-The lesser known of the Ripken siblings comes in at number 6 on the Shredder's Analyst list.  Like his brother Cal, Bill does an excellent job in teaching the fundamentals of the game from the demo field in Studio 42.  Another thing in his favor is his preference to add a Designated Hitter position to the National League style of game.  Even though his opinions may not always be shared by the public at large, having no fear when expressing your opinions goes a long way when becoming the best analyst one could possibly be.  

7. Mark DeRosa-One of MLB Network's newer analysts, Mark DeRosa has so far made the most out of his knowledge as a recent former player thanks to a 15+ year career with 8 teams.  DeRosa showed early potential as an analyst as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013 when he make frequent appearances on MLB Network's Intentional Talk alongside fellow teammate and sparkplug Munenori Kawasaki.  If DeRosa stays dedicated to his craft as an analyst, the Shredder sees nothing but good things for his future.

8. Ron Darling-This man seemingly has exposure down to a science.  The former Mets pitcher of '80s fame appears across all of MLB Network's big name programs in addition to his regular season contributions with Sportsnet New York (SNY) Mets telecasts and TBS' national  game coverage on weekends.

9. Mike Lowell-The 2-time World Series winner always delivers a unique insight into the game.  He does good work on the MLB Now panel alongside Brian Kenny.  Where he provides the most value is his insight of what it's like for foreign born players to make the transition to the big leagues.  This is especially true given the growing influx of players from Cuba making the transition the the big show.

10. Darryl Hamilton-Since joining MLB Network in 2013, Hamilton is a perfect role model when it comes to finding the right mix of ingredients in an analyst.  He always delivers very thoughtful and smart insight when discussing the daily happenings of Major League Baseball.  He's also not afraid to be critical of players when he feels that such analysis is warranted.

Those That Just Missed The Cut-Sean Casey, Ryan Dempster, Cliff Floyd, Al Leiter, Jim Kaat, Joe Magrane.  Sorry gentlemen, there just wasn't enough room in such a crowded field.  Keep at it and you may see your name in the Top 10 next time.

Those That Need More Seasoning Or Exposure-Carlos Pena, Dave Valle, Joey Cora.  With more reps and exposure these guys could work their way up through the ranks.

Tim Musick
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