Can’t Miss Clutch Cards

At just 165 Salary, Billy Hamilton is one of the cheapest 20 Speed players.

Welcome to my first Can’t Miss Clutch Cards blog! My name is Sean Norberg, I am a co-founder of Clutch Baseball, and a passionate New York Yankees fan. Don’t hate! I grew up in New York in the 90’s, and my father grew up in New York cheering for the Yankees in the 40’s and 50’s. Ultimately I am an extreme baseball fan all together. Despite the Yankees missing the playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years, 2016 was one of the most exciting years of baseball in my life. I am excited in what 2017 has in store for the MLB, and Clutch Baseball!

The creators and I have had the first opportunity to scout the new player cards that are based off the last 2 seasons of the player’s statistics. After casually picking a few of my favorite players to add to the first team I built (*cough* Gary Sanchez), I added a few players I thought were solid bargains. I still found myself struggling to stay under the point salary limit. So, I literally went back to my drawing board, and started looking for players well under the average point limit per player. The team salary cap is 6000 points, for 25 players, which is only 240 points per player on average. So my first mission was to find the best players around 200 points.

My main man in 2017: Billy R. Hamilton. He is one of, if not, the fastest dudes in the MLB. I mean the guy stole 155 bases one year in the minor leagues! So of course you’re going to see Hamilton leading off for a lot of Clutch teams. He is a basement bargain for 165 points. Only one player with speed A is cheaper than Hamilton, and I hope I never see Chris Owinings in someone’s starting lineup with a +1 defense in centerfield or at shortstop (unless I’m playing them in a tournament). So why is Billy Hamilton still nearly double the cost of Owinings? Get this, Hamilton lead all NL centerfielders with a 1.8 defensive war last year. Most casual fans have probably never heard (or care) of defensive war, but to put it in perspective for you; Hamilton nearly doubled his defensive war from the previous season. Despite leading the NL in defensive war, Ender Inciarte still edged him out for the gold glove. No worries though, Hamilton comes with a smooth SB (Stolen Base) icon to lead that lineup off for you.  So roll this speedy and defensive stud out in your lineup in 2017, but don’t necessarily expect that lethal combo back in 2018, until he proves himself.

Okay, so let’s get back to the reality of Hamilton’s Clutch card. His on-base is atrocious, the dude basically can’t hit homeruns, and he has one of the worst clutch ratings in all of baseball. Although there is one more x-factor you can’t put a price on. He’s a switch hitter. Here is why that is EVERYTHING for me in a leadoff hitter.

  1. You don’t have to worry about +1/+2 additional Command from R/L advantage.
  2. The bullpen. Not only do you not have to worry about facing additional command, it strips your opponent of that advantage in the late innings.
  3. Strategy cards. There are a fair amount of cards that are only triggered when opposing an opposite handed pitcher. Since Hamilton is an offensive nightmare, you may need those cards to actually get on base with him.
Perez may not be a huge offensive threat, but he does carry a SL and GG icon.

The most logical bargain: El Nino, World Series MVP, Salvador Perez. This time I’ll start with the negatives. He’s a speed D with an on base of 10. His batting average has been dropping every year he has been in the big leagues, which is never a good sign for catchers. So much like Hamilton, don’t bank on Perez being your long-term catcher past the 2017 season. Figuring only one catcher is higher than a speed C, J.T Realmuto, it doesn’t really matter that he is a speed D. Everyone generally focuses on defense with catchers, and Perez just won his 4th straight glove. Perez is going to be gunning runners out, if anyone actually dares to steal on this man with a +9 arm, and gold glove icon. Speaking of icons, despite Perez’s declining batting average, Perez still managed to win the AL Silver Slugger for catchers in 2016. This gives you two icons for less than the average salary cost. That leaves us to wonder, how did he win the Silver Slugger if his on-base is only a 10? Well the good news is that his chart is not as sad as Billy the Kid’s. Perez reaches base on a 7, and singles on an 8. That is a pretty low die roll to reach base via a base hit. So he can be driving runners in from second base during clutch moments (instead of walking). Oh, did I mention he has positive clutch too? Sounds to me like a solid strategy deck can be built around this former World Series MVP.

Don’t forget you can check out player stats here and preorders are now live!Pre-Order Now!

Sean Norberg

Co-Creator of Clutch Baseball. Grew up on Long Island, NY. Life-long Yankee fan, teacher, and coach.
Created his own cards as a kid using index cards and aluminum foil for holographic cards.