Baseball’s 27 Club – Hitters

If you watch baseball long enough, you’ll hear the adage of the Age-27 season. This rule of thumb says that players usually figure things out at the Major league level during this Age-27 season. It sounds anecdotal, but it has plenty of merit, as most athletes reach their physical prime around this age to go along with enough experience of being a professional athlete.  This quick post looks at five players currently going through that Age-27 breakout. All these players are experiencing a significant boost in their offensive performance. And, if you notice, their respective teams are all in the upper half of the Majors when it comes to their W-L record.

 

Stats for the dudes I'm talking about

Michael Brantley has been around for quite some time, a well-regarded prospect called up at 22 and given regularly playing time since. This year, he’s finally become the force Cleveland hoped he would be, a testament to his hard work and improving batting eye. His OPS has climbed from last year’s .728 to an impressive .877, most welcome for an Indians squad that has struggled to find quality OF hitting the past few years. He’s on pace to blow past his career highs for walks, runs, and RBI, and has already equaled his career-best 10 homers. He is a big reason why Cleveland has suddenly turned it on after a rough April.
In about the same amount of PAs, he’s matched or surpassed last year’s production in all the major number categories while being an above-average run producer. A big part of this early-season breakout came during his torrid April, where he posted an absurd 1.034 OPS. But, as his Colorado Rockies have cooled, so has he, as he is not having as much success so far in June.Charlie Blackmon is the inspiration for this post. Considered a fringe prospect for years, Blackmon has gradually found a role within the Rockies’ crowded outfield. He’s an almost-everyday player , taking over in RF due to Michael Cuddyer’s health issues, though manager Walt Weiss regularly sits him and his poor .627 OPS against left-handed starters.

Brandon Crawford and Brian Dozier are valued more for their defensive capabilities, but their strides at the plate has made them into valuable pieces for their respective clubs. Crawford’s improved patience at the plate has seen him draw more walks and raise his extra-base production, putting him in line for career years. Dozier has been loving Target Field (.914 OPS), but his biggest improvement is in his ability to get on base and taking extra bases, as he’s matched or is on his way to besting his walk totals, stolen bases, and showing some valuable pop. Playing SS and 2B respectively, their improved plate discipline has made these two into commodities that any team would covet, regardless of their .245ish batting averages.

Finally, there’s Evan Gattis. He was one of the league’s biggest finds last season, taking a long and strange road to get to the show. His clutch heroics and massive power endeared him to Atlanta fans immediately, which prompted the Braves to open up a starting spot at catcher for him. Excellent move, as he’s gone on to become an even bigger force. With today’s game being so pitching dominant, getting on base via walks is a huge asset, and he’s done an excellent job improving on that. However, it’s the power numbers that you want out of Gattis, and he’s delivering in spades. With an 85-point improvement in his slugging so far, he’s showing that he can be a consistent performer for an always-struggling Braves offense.

We shall see if these five players continue to post strong results, or fade out as the summer months take their toll on teams. However, they remain five names to watch, something for fans to follow when their favorite teams aren’t in action or struggle through a lost season. Next time, I’ll try to look at some pitchers who may be going through a surge at 27. It works for them too!

Follow me @Delibirdation if you want to see me get mad at the Angels.
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Workout Playlist Pick: Megadeth

Youthanasia tends to be an underrated record among Megadeth’s catalog. It has some big-name songs, like the banned-by-MTV A Tout Le Monde, Reckoning Day, and Train of Consequences, but overall it tends to be passed over for the band’s first 5 albums. A mistake, because there’s some real gems in this strong record. This is one of my favorite Megadeth songs in general, and today it helped me run like a madman while making people wonder if I had some sort of mental issue.

Follow me @Delibirdation. I tweet like a madman.
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Workout Playlist Pick: Discharge

Can’t go wrong with the masters of d-beat hardcore madness.

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AA Reviews 2014 – Hades Archer/Slaughtbbath, Force of Darkness

I’ve been slacking incredibly hard lately, so have some badass Chilean thrash metal. Enjoy! Que rifa Latinoamerica!

Hades Archer & Slaughtbbath – Circus of Abominations/Antichristos Thanatos

Genre: Black Thrash // Tracks: 8 // Rating: 4.0

Resources: Bandcamp // Holycaust Records // Proselytism

When it comes to the extreme end of thrash metal, few countries do it better than Chile, a South American country that literally has a region called Soil of Fire.

The hellish sounds Hades Archer has unleashed the past few years are almost the stuff of legends. The band’s Penis Metal EP and For the Diabolical Ages LP were immediately embraced by fans of all things underground and heavy. In every release, the band has morphed their sound, touching on the bestial and Brazilian styles. On their side of this split record, they remind me of Aura Noir and other bands of that ilk while mixing in the hellish style people have become accustomed to hearing. With the raw, razor sharp production sound, it also recalls Massacra during their Final Holocaust days. It’s a quick blast of their madness that is very much appreciated here, I love me some violent thrash metal.

As good as Hades Archer are, their lesser-known compatriots Slaughtbbath completely KILL it here. A furious mix of black and death metal rests on a thrash foundation, with some vicious gravelly vocals and the violence to match up with Hades Archer. The three tracks feature twisting riffs and doomy, slowed down sections to break up the madness, combining to bludgeon the listener. The production is much thicker in comparison to the HA side, but still plenty raw to satisfy lo-fi junkies like myself. The Grand Dialogue and Mortal Paradigma are fantastic songs, with Mortal taking the prize with its absolutely vile Spanish lyrics speaking on the fact that we’ll all end up “comida de gusanos” (food for the worms you gringo bastards).

No lie, that song fills me up with pride. What a tune. We need more Spanish blasphemy in these God-fearing times.

You’re getting an asskicking with this split record. The 25 minute run time is the perfect length to showcase what both bands can do. If you’ve never heard either band, this is an excellent introduction that should get you interested in checking out both band’s back catalog. I recommend you do it anyway if you’re a fan of black thrash, you won’t find bands much better than these two.

Force of Darkness – Absolute Verb of Chaos and Darkness

Genre: Black Thrash // Tracks: 6 // Rating: 4.0

Resources: Iron Pegasus Records

To further prove my point of Chilean thrash supremacy, Force of Darkness return with a blistering 20-minute EP that showcases some of the best songs in the band’s decade-plus career.

The formula is simple: dark and dirty thrash metal from the gutters of the deepest parts of hell. Force of Darkness has become a standard-bearer for this style, every release delivering exactly what you would demand from black thrash metal in these times. Speed, blast beats, vile vocals, spiraling madness in riff form. All those who worship at the altar of the riff will love hearing what these Chilean beasts have to offer. For those new to this style, think Slayer turned up to 11 and you’ll get a good idea of what you’re going to hear. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Slayer is such a big influence, Tom Araya is from…wait for it…Chile.

If you’ve heard the band’s 2010 album Darkness Revelation, expect a rawer version of the band on this EP. This sounds like it could have been recorded in the mid-80s, but it’s professional enough to satisfy 2014’s audiophiles. The bass is refreshingly clean and clear here, kicking off Thy Mystical Vibration with a twisted bass riff that sets the tone for what you’re about to get. The drums and drum tone are excellent here, tons of double bass pounding but it never overwhelms the well-balanced mix of guitars and percussion. The weak link is the vocals, but when you’re in black thrash, you need some vomited blasphemies such as these. Abraxas Revenge is the perfect example, with vocalist Nabucodonosor imploring the listener to FEAR THE ABRAXAS in the most frantic way possible.

The whole package delivers the thrash goods. This one is tailor-made for the underground heads who love them some riffs and musical violence. Chile continues to produce some of the best bands the heavy metal world has to offer, and I hope the assembly line doesn’t stop.

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Have Some Maryland Deathfest 2014 Videos!

Damn, Maryland Deathfest put together one of the best festivals in its history. That’s saying something, there’s been quite a few amazing lineups over the past 12 years. I’ll be posting others as I find them, the sheer quantity and quality of the bands during the three day festival is overwhelming to both attendees and people who had to miss it. Like me. Again. Feel lucky if you were there.

Bölzer Lay Waste

This young Swiss duo is tearing up the underground metal landscape by being better and heavier than just about everyone. They played two sets at the festival due to New Zealand’s Mitochondrion being denied visas to the US (stop it America). This high quality footage shows what people familiar with Bölzer already know: they are badass. No two ways about it.

Sarke Cover a Darkthrone Favorite

Darkthrone is a legendary band that stretch back to the late 80s, but the amount of live shows they’ve done can be counted on two hands. Thankfully, we get to see vocalist/guitarist Nocturno Culto do his thing with bands like Sarke, who closed their set with a live rendition of a modern Darkthrone classic. WE’RE TOO OLD…TOO FUCKING COLD.

America, Say Hello to Mgła

A treat for black metal fans, as Mgła had never played in US shores before. This song is the fantastic closer to their excellent With Hearts Toward None record.

Take a Hit and Listen to This

30 minutes of crushing stoner doom. Bongripper are known for playing some of the heaviest grooves around.

Sweden Represent

Finally we have two of my all-time favorites. God Macabre had to endure a sleepy crowd, which is a real shame, as this rendition of Ashes of Mourning Life rips ass! Then, you can see how pumped everyone was to see the masters, At the Gates. Soon as the gun cocking sound signals the beginning of Suicide Nation, all hell breaks loose. I’ve seen them live myself, that’s about right haha!

A big thanks to all the uploaders. I hope to make it out to Baltimore soon!

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Deathrash: Massacra – Final Holocaust

As far as I’m concerned, anyone calling themselves a serious fan of heavy metal music should worship at the altar of this album. The guitar tone is like a machete cutting through the neck of an infidel. That is a beautiful sonic visual. Apocalyptic Warriors and Researchers of Tortures are one of the most powerful opening combos in metal. Americans are fond of calling the French sissies and shit like that, but it’s not really true when this French masterpiece exists.

Follow me @Delibirdation. Only death is real.

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Angels 3-Hit By Chris Young & Friends. Yuck

It was a hideous game. Tyler Skaggs got knocked around during the first two innings and didn’t get any help from his defense or his own silly mind (there weren’t two Pujolses dude). Chris Young took a no-hitter to the 6th inning and generally kept the Angels looking foolish until departing.

This Albert Pujols home run is the only good thing the Angels did. That and Tyler Skaggs being a gamer and getting through 7 innings again. He loves the 7th. Let’s do it again tomorrow, ya dumb bastards.

Follow me @Delibirdation so you can watch me melt down publicly.

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Crippler – Threshing Sledge. Finnish DM Demo

Crippler is a new band from somewhere in Eastern Finland. This is a quick, 3-song demo from last year that BRINGS THE FUCKEN RIFFS PAPA.  Czech it out. Thanks to the homie PenetratorHammer for hooking this one up. May your hammer keep penetrating falses.

Follow me @Delibirdation. We can talk metal and sports.

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I Thought They Were Gonna Lose

Until Chris Iannetta hit this home run. Was a fan of his during his Rockies day, I was really happy when the team traded for him. He keeps showing why!

 

 

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In Honor of MDF, Have Some Live At the Gates

They were fantastic when I saw them six years ago. This Wacken performance was done right after that U.S. tour was finished.

Thanks for the upload Earache Records!

Follow me @Delibirdation.

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