Monday, July 25, 2011

NL South

NL South Preview
The NL South is a very even division, and unless someone make a big move this race should go down to the wire with all 4 teams having a shot.

  1. Florida 85-77
  2. Atlanta 83-79
  3. Houston 81-81
  4. St. Louis 79-83

drichar138 says:
I was more active on the free agent market this season than usual. After losing 90 games in season one and 96 in season two, I want to end the trend toward a 100 loss season. I return my core star players in CF Don Ramirez and LF Merv Dorsey in the field with Daryl Woods and Blake Titan leading the pitching staff. I brought in Edwin Henderson as a free agent to help bring stability to the rotation and added Khiry Banks and Maicer Tavarez to hopefully boost my offense. I was also pleased to land Ian Malone in the rule 5 draft and he will get a lot of AB's against LH pitching. Overall, I think the moves will go along way toward making this team more competitive. I am hoping to finish much closer to .500.
hurricane384’s take:
Although Houston lost a lot of players to free agency, one can argue that it is a good thing to clean it out when you’ve lost 96 games in the previous season. Houston boasts a solid team with some very good players on it. I look for their moves to have helped them out and drichar will not have to worry about moving towards 100 losses as this team should be within 5 games of .500.

kilgore says:
The Braves look to be a contender in the competitively balanced NL South. With a core of solid young players, the goal is to be a contender for the next few seasons. Led by CF Alex Cheng offensively, the Braves also added a legitimate power bat in 1B Alex Reynoso during the off season. The defense is solid at every position. While the Braves lack a dominant starter, all five are quality arms. The pen, while not quite as strong as last season, is again expected to be a strength, with Harold Dailey assuming the closer role. Look for the Braves to win between 83 and 88 games, which should put them in the mix for a tight NL South race.
hurricane384’s take:
One of 3 teams to finish with a .500 or better record, Atlanta made some moves and boasts a solid pitching staff to go along with a decent offense. I look for another winning season out of this team as their pitching carries their offense. The addition of Reynoso should make for an exciting season in Atlanta.

St. Louis
dwboyce says:
S2 came as a complete surprise to us. Mid-way thru last season we made a trade for Johnny Rose at the deadline to make a solid run at the playoffs and it worked out. Rose was that rare player that fit our system. As S3 started, our goal was to upgrade our catcher and acquire a solid closer. Cambridge was a great signing, but we lost the cash for our closer bid when Bonilla declined his option and wouldn't sign. We made every attempt to bring him back but failed. We signed Derrick Taylor as a plan B, but we're stung by his loss. We also lost out on our closers, so we made a trade for Kwon late which filled our other hole temporarily. We will call up Andy Montague and Ariel Mateo after 20 minor league games - Mateo will start at 1B, Montague in right. That should add more punch to our line up and we'll rely less on the run this year, which helps given Bonilla is gone. Our starting five are all signed for multi year deals, and Rose was offered a long contract in the offseason and he accepted, so he'll be a Cardinal until retirement. Hopefully opponents will hate facing Mateo and Rose in the heart of the order. We upgraded the pitching slightly in the bullpen with Kwon, and we upgraded catcher, 1st base and RF. We're hoping to put pressure on Atlanta and Houston, who will bounce back I'm sure.
hurricane384’s take:
The offense is not deep and has some one-dimensional players on it. The pitching staff is strong, but the question is did dwboyce do enough to upgrade his offense to keep pace with the guys in his division? I’m not so sure he did as I see a drop-off this season to around .500.

mtorabdaddy says:
Rather than exploring the FA market this offseason, I decided to fill my holes at 2B and CF with guys from my system. Walters and Fossum, while not spectacular, should be serviceable players down the line. With my pitching, I should be right in the thick of things in my division.
hurricane384’s take:
Florida made some moves, but they do boast the best offense in the division. Their pitching staff is good as well. Hoping their moves put them on top, they decided to fill their openings from within. It remains seen as to whether this was a good idea or not.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

NL North - Part IV

Cincinnati Larry Anderson surrounded by a new cast sees Addition thru Subtraction

Want a definition of “turnover?” Look no further than Cincinnati.

Last season, 139 games were started by pitchers that this season no longer wear the Reds uniform. Cincinnati is building a reputation as one of the most active teams in the entire league, and as such, did not hesitate to trade or release more than 4/5ths of their starting rotation last year.

The lone returning starter is hardly a familiar face to fans. Larry Anderson pitched 79 innings last year before he blew out his elbow and landed on the 60-day DL. This year, he’s the veteran anchor on a staff of fresh new faces.

Cincinnati made some of these difficult moves because they felt they had an underperforming staff that was thin at the top and wanted to improve the overall depth. Out went last year’s coveted ace, Willie Diggins (14-14 in 38 starts, 1.25 WHIP) in a massive five-for-two player deal with Milwaukee. Out went workhorse Edwin Henderson (11-10 in 40 starts, 1.16 WHIP) to Houston. Lou Nance (9-4 in 33 starts, 1.33 WHIP) was released to free agency and remains unsigned. Ryan Fasano (5-5 in 16 starts, 1.48 WHIP) and Hamlet White (3-5 in 12 starts, 1.59 WHIP) were dealt to Oakland.

The changes were not limited to the starting pitching staff: last season’s aging closer Vinny Kwon, who saved 39 games in 48 opportunities, was sent to St. Louis taking his 1.43 WHIP with him. So in all, four starting pitcher spots and the closer role were filled by new players in Cincinnati, an offseason so busy that it was rumored to even cause some confusion with the team’s fan jersey supplier in China.

Aside from Larry Anderson at the top of the rotation, the Reds’ main stay will be joined by 36-year-old started Philip Payton, who went 14-11 in 31 starts for Cleveland last season while posting a 1.28 WHIP and respectable 3.52 ERA. George Foster who went 8-11 in 31 starts for Milwaukee while giving up 1.23 WHIP will likely join them on the mound, along with rookie Jim Baxter out of Milwaukee’s minor league system. The last spot in the rotation may go to Jason Gibson, formerly of Detroit, who went 4-13 in 32 starts last year.

Closing duties will likely go to Carson Yearwood, who last year posted some very respectable numbers in that role with the White Sox. Former Los Angeles Angeles set up man Kip Glass (1.24 WHIP, 1.64 ERA) will now front the bullpen duties. The Reds are hoping that the new staff will improve on their league average pitching stats as a team.

The Reds have built their offense around the long ball and lead the National League in homeruns. With so much power, they felt comfortable dealing aging star rightfielder Ricky Rose and obtaining a new centerfielder in the form of Carson James (.311/.391/.381) from Kansas City, whose OBP numbers were an attraction to a team that needed a lead-off hitter. Abdul Sweeney (.249/.314/.335) from Oakland will likely get the start at third base this season. The Reds are hoping for a more balanced attack out of the line-up this season.

dwb’s take: The Reds don’t hesitate to shake up the core of the team in an effort to produce results. It’s difficult to project if all of these changes will meld together however given the sizable turnover. The Reds are gambling that they will and have little to lose, as they picked up a few prospects in the deals, if they don’t. However, there are too many bats in this division not to have an ace fight thru them, and I see them looking up at a very tight race for the #2 seed in the division.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Top RP

  1.  Fred Adams (TEX)
    Although he lacks ideal stamina/durability combination, Adams is a very good reliever. He throws hard, has a good compliment of pitches. Dominates RHB and is solid against LHB. Can get a groundball and won’t walk himself into trouble.
  2. Elvis Janssen (TEX)
    Not enough stamina to start on a consistent basis, Janssen can appear quite often. He’s got a solid stable of pitches, gets strikeouts and groundballs, and can be dominant. Won’t walk many.
  3. Benny Waddell (LA)
    Lacks ideal stamina/durability combination, he is still a very good reliever. Won’t walk many and can get the strikeout. Will get a groundball out time after time with his combination of good pitches.
  4. Steve Hines (MON)
    An ironman type reliever, Hines has great control, dominates RHB while being solid agianst LHB. He's got good velocity, 2 very good pitches, and an above average one. He gets a lot of groundball outs.

Top SP

  1. Edgar Martin (BAL)
    The best pitcher in the league, Martin does a great job of controlling the tempo, keeping hitters off-balance. He doesn’t throw hard, but he does get a lot of grounders. Won’t walk many. He has a tremendous first pitch, and solid 2-5. Can throw deep into games.
  2. Hugh Downs (PIT)
    Great control combines with a great pitch and solid 2-5 pitches to make him the #2 pitcher in the world. He keeps hitters off-balance most of the time and forces a lot of groundballs.
  3. Apollo Gibson (MIL)
    Can work deep into games, while keeping hitters off-balance and getting a lot of groundballs. He does sometimes lose focus and leave a pitch in the hitting zone. Does not throw hard.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Season 3 NL East Preview

Who will be the beast of the East in season 3?  The Pittsburgh Pirates have been the King Kong of the division for the first two seasons in MLB, but there are some other teams that are looking to challenge the lord of the jungle for divisional dominance.  Could this be the year that New York, Philly, or Washington take on the mighty Pirates?

New York Mets

The Mets boast a balanced roster that was made stronger over the offseason by the signing of premier reliever Eugene Bush, who gives the NY franchise a legit stopper at the back end of the bullpen.  The question will be if the starting pitching can deliver enough quality starts to get him the opportunities that he needs to justify his massive durability and price tag.  Outside of #1 starter Kelvin Beckham there really isn't a pitcher on the Mets staff that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing lineups.  The bullpen is pretty good though, and is skilled enough to keep the team in the games when pitchers like Alexei Vargas have a tough outing, or close it down when they have a good one. 

The Mets lineup is very young, with most of their starters being only a season or two removed from the minor leagues.  There will be some bumps in the road as they continue to develop but they are a capable bunch with a few legit run producers in Davey Candelaria, Marvin Sellers, Mark Lloyd, and Deacon Kelly.  Depth is an issue though and if any of these four players sits out for any length of time the lineup will suffer greatly as there are no immediately available pieces that could replace them. 

Seeing as most of the Mets good prospects are playing at the ML level already, there really isn't much to write home about for their minor leagues but they do have some solid ML players on the way in CF Felipe Sanchez and SP Glen Peterson.  The Mets have a protected pick this season at #12, so there is hope that if the draft shows any depth they will get a keeper for the future.

All told the Mets are on the way, but aren't ready to challenge the Pirates yet, and are still a season or two and a couple of starting pitchers away. 

Philadelphia Phillies

A playoff team in season one, the Phillies suffered a series of catastrophic injuries last season that forced them to prematurely initiate a youth movement at the major league level.  So as a result the Phillies are the youngest team in the NL East with 16 of their players age 26 and younger.  That being said, the kids are alright.  If they can stay healthy this season Philly should expect to see significant development for many of their young players like Calvin Colangelo, Thomas Bailey, Brian Kim, and Delwyn Owen.  This should also be accomplished without throwing the season away as well as the Phillies starting pitching is while not great, definitely above average and pretty deep.  The lineup also boasts significant power, with 7 of the 8 spots showing 70 or greater power on the HBD SIM Roids scale. 

The big questions for Philadelphia will be their bullpen and team defense.  After trading star CF Manny Martin to Montreal for a major upgrade at C in Felipe Lopez, all the positions up the middle will be manned by players with 1 season or less of ML experience, who are still fine tuning some of their glove skills.   If they can just keep it to an error a game they should be able to have a chance.  As for the pen, they will be relying on a couple of converted starters and some average arm also rans to try and hold it together after the starters do their job.  In all honesty the group can probably expect an unfortunate WHIP in the range of 1.50 or so, but with a little luck that might be different.

All told the Phillies are definitely in better shape then last season and are on track to keep improving, especially with the #4 draft pick this season.  The farm system boasts several top notch prospects in Willie Donnelly and Dan George. and a few other quality players besides.  While the Phillies probably won't challenge the Pirates this season, they are a definite threat in the near future and will probably rebound from last years disastrous season with near .500 ball.

Pittsburgh Pirates

For two seasons the Pirates have been the class of the East, thanks to the impressive bat of Yovani Fuentes and arm of Hugh Downs.  But those two players, along with many of their other top bats and arms, are starting to show their age and at best have perhaps another year or two left in them before some of them start to ride off into the sunset.  So it's now or never for the Pirates as their window is starting to close. 

The Pirates have done a good job of surrounding their talented vets with capable young players such as Rick Coveleski in the bullpen and Francisco Rodriguez in LF.  They also signed veteran 2B Hub Bradley to a very reasonable deal to add additional help in the lineup.  The lineup still remains the best in the East, boasting power and lots of run producing potential, and plenty of protection for Fuentes.  The rotation is clearly the class of the division too, and probably one of the best in the National League, and the bullpen is deep with quality. 

The future is now for the Pirates, who sacrificed their first round draft pick in the Bradley signing.  They have some nice young players in Rodriguez, Coveleski, SP A.J Sewell, and C Luis Bravo.  But while the Pirates minor leagues have some nice players in Chad York, Frank Becker, and Ron Forbes, none of those players will be able to replace the impact of the veterans they may have to replace.  But that being said, the Pirates don't need to replace the guys they have this season, and should repeat as division champs and perhaps make a run in the playoffs with some luck.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals were on alert from their fans and management to have a good season last year or else face league mandated changes and made a huge turnaround, going from a 47 to a 79 win team in just one season.  But they paid a price, having to trade some nice young prospects for aging vets to win immediately.  As a result this years team is a squad in flux, as their best player from last year, Edgar Castillo, is starting to decline and they lost their best pitcher, Juan Rios, in free agency.  There are a slew of young developing players being called up to prove their worth at the ML level, though of them only John Jung is truly ML ready. 

The team is young, and as a result the lineup is still developing.  There are only two top quality bats in Castillo and Jung, and the rest of the lineup tops out at slightly above average.  The pitching staff is also not in the best staff due to the departure of Julio and the decline of Pepper Hayes, who while still good doesn't have quite the stamina to put in as many innings as he used to.  But as was mentioned earlier, the lineup is pretty young and is still improving for the most part, and with the young lineups outside of Pittsburgh competing in the division the Nationals hold up alright.

This is a big year for the Nationals in the draft, with picks at #3, #14, #26, and #52 in the first round.  The Nats took a bit of a risk with their college and high school scouting this season, so if the draft is not deep they might be in trouble, as there aren't any elite prospects in their minors outside of SP Raymond Small who will be impact players in the future.  They should get a can't miss at #3, but will need some luck to make the most out of the rest of their picks to restock the farm system.

Look for the Nationals to compete with the Mets and the Phillies for the right to be runner up to the Pirates.

Final Analysis

Though the winds of change are beginning to blow in the NL East the forecast is still for more of the same, with the Pittsburgh Pirates looking to continue their dominance of the division for at least one more year before the changing temperature causes arthritis to flare up in the bones of some of their aging veterans.  Of the three other teams in the division the Phillies appear to be best situated to compete long term, followed closely by the Mets and then the Nationals.  This season the division should probably shake out the same way, with the MVP Fuentes leading the Pirates to another season of glory.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NL North - Part III

Montreal New face Manny Martin helps the Expos Win on a Dime

Look closely and you’ll see a big difference between the two-time division champion Milwaukee Brewers and the Montreal Expos.

Can’t see it? It’s 90 million dollars.

Yes, 90 million dollars is the difference between the payrolls of both clubs. In fact, Milwaukee has one player, starting pitcher Jason Drew, whose salary of $12 million per year almost exceeds the payroll for Montreal’s entire franchise, which is $12.2 million. One might look at that number and suspect the franchise is utterly void of talent, but they actually stand poised to win more games than they did last season and finish with a .500 record or better.

Montreal’s newly acquired All-Star centerfielder Manny Martin best represents why. Montreal has shrewdly traded away some expensive chips in their major league system to accumulate young talent. While Martin stands to earn just $385,000 this season – tops on the Expos payroll – he socked 44 homeruns last year while driving in 104 RBI for an injury-plagued Philadelphia franchise.

Let’s examine some of these moves. Last season, the Expos overhauled the right side of the field, making significant changes at right field, first base and second base. The moves paid off, especially for rookie Julio Guillen (.309/.378/.518) who was named an All-Star in his first season and earned Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger honors. This offseason, the team concentrated on overhauling the left side.

Shortstop Derrick Taylor (.261/.324/.350) left via free agency to St. Louis, taking his lackluster glove with him. Underpowered third baseman Luis Ethier (.272/.323/.405) was also allowed to depart. Montreal put a package of prospects together and shipped them several thousand miles away, to San Francisco, and in return received minor league shortstop Sammy Cruz and third baseman Hal Purcell. Cruz is an upgrade defensively at short and has enough of a bat to allow some of the Expos prospects to continue to marinate, while Purcell brings a large stick to third. His average and defense will be nothing to write home about, but he’s built more in the classic mold.

Fans should quickly forget All-Star Johnny Rose’s play at left field thanks to the promotion of slugger Cy Oliver. There should be no loss of swatting power from the corner and he should be noticed quickly for his power throughout the league. Rookie second baseman Che-Bang Shigetoshi brings a lead-off hitter type of bat to the lineup with good eye, decent contact and fine speed while defending his position well.

A rare type of trade was made with Philadelphia, in which the clubs flat out swapped major league position players: Montreal sends two-time All-Star catcher Felipe Melendez (.270/.351/.459) and a capable defender in centerfield in Anthony Roberts to Philly, and in return Montreal gets defensive catcher Will Lansing and All-Star centerfielder Manny Martin (.265/.329/.545).

The changes aren’t limited to the position players. The pitching staff will see a number of new young arms called up this year, including more-than-capable starting pitchers Bill Park and Jaime Kent, while Philip Priddy and Sawyer Cross should also expect to work their way onto the staff this year.

All of this young talent should improve upon a strong nucleus of players that performed well last year. The pitching staff last season finished with an ERA and a WHIP just a shade under the league average, while allowing 803 runs – 193 fewer than the previous season. On offense, the additions should improve the major statistical categories on a team that finished right around the league averages again, such as 22nd in Batting Average (.263), 17th in OBP (.333) and 21st in Slugging (.404).

dwb’s take: Montreal has set the table for the future while competing in the present. The infusion of young talent should propel the club to another improved record, but the young players face stiff competition from the talented Cubs and Brewers within their own division. That said, the Expos will contest for second place in the division with the Cubs.

NL North - Part II

Chicago Centerfielder Orlando Soriano shows why the “C” stands for “Consistent”

After winning 88 games in Season One, the Cubs chose to stand pat last offseason and made few if any moves to shake up the core of a team that came within a game of clinching a playoff spot. That “if at first you don’t succeed” strategy paid off in Season Two: the Cubs went on to win a remarkably consistent number of games again – 87 last year – and clinched a playoff spot thanks to the stumbles of other clubs.

This winter however was destined to be a far more active offseason for the franchise, as free agency loomed for some key players on the club and key decisions would have to be made. By the time pitchers and catchers started reporting this spring, five players from last year’s playoff team had been acquired by other clubs or been traded, and quite a few new faces could be seen donning the oversized red “C”. But, looking more closely at the changes, one sees that not much was really added or taken away over the offseason from Chicago’s current winning formula: good defense + a good offense + a decent pitching staff yielding playoff opportunities. And why not? We all know, once in the playoffs, anything can happen.

The pitching staff suffered the most turnover starting with the departure of 32-year-old Garrett Kolb (1.54 WHIP, 3.94 ERA). The Cubs were content to let the free agent walk after he started 6-5 in 16 starts last season before tearing his rotator cuff and landing on the 60-day DL. To replace him, the Cubs in turn signed Tampa Bay Ray free agent Josias Gonzalez, who inked a five-year, $32.5 million deal. The big righty went 24-23 in two years with the Rays, posting a career 1.36 WHIP but missed about five starts last year tending to a bonespur in his shoulder.

In the bullpen the Cubbies also lost aging closer Carson Yearwood to Cincinnati and short reliever Alex Black, who signed with Colorado. Yearwood was a familiar face on the mound in the ninth, posting 36 saves in 40 opportunities last year while finishing with a respectable 1.26 WHIP and 3.57 ERA on the season. Alex Black’s role was much more limited, working just under 40 innings, in a few appearances for the club. It remains to be seen who will patch these holes. Rumor has it Cookie Alfonzo, the hard-throwing righty from the Dominican Republic who signed with the Cubs last season for $16.8 million in bonus money, might see time in the Bigs this year.

On offense, the Cubs lost a popular player in Hub Bradley. The former Silver Slugger centerfielder signed with the Pirates over the winter. Replacing his 28 homeruns, 33 doubles and 109 RBI had to be a priority in Chicago, and management delivered with a key trade. The Cubs packaged up three prospects from their minor league system to net the services of hard-hitting Orlando Soriano from the Rays. Soriano hit .253/.329/.512 last season, swatting 40 homeruns while driving in 111.

Also traded was starting rightfielder Hector Fernandez (.270/.333/.414), a gifted 34-year-old defensive player who has the skills to also play third base. He was sent to Seattle for a pair of young prospects. The move clears the way for young Darren Simmons to hold down the corner, for about $7 million less, but his durability is a concern and won’t be able to start every game in right.

The net effect of these moves should be minimal on an offense that finished 10th in Batting Average and 8th in Slugging Percentage last season. It’s clearly still the David Davis show in Chi-town, despite the Cubs pretenses at shopping him over the winter. But no bats were added to the lineup beyond replacing what departed. As for the pitching staff, which finished a hair above average in WHIP, OAV and Runs Allowed, the addition of Gonzalez is an upgrade over Kolb but only if the club can find suitable solutions for the bullpen.

dwb’s take: The Cubs patch up the holes from their departing free agents but don’t make any significant moves I see that look to improve the win total. Expect the Cubs to finish with a win total in the mid 80’s to record their third winning season in a row but finish second to the Brewers, who have just too much pitching. The franchise will continue to put steady pressure on the rest of the National League for a wild card spot.

NL North - Part I

Milwaukee Willie Diggins and Luther Becker prove The Rich Get Richer

How deep is the Brewer’s farm system?

Well, consider that Milwaukee’s arms combined for the 2nd best team ERA (3.47) and the 2nd best WHIP (1.17) in the entire league to carry the team and its average offensive attack – 19th in Batting Average and 18th in Runs – to their second straight division title and their first World Series appearance. You would figure after posting statistics like this, the needs to be addressed in the offseason to transform the team into a World Series champion would be obvious.

It’s surprising then that Milwaukee continued to do more than just tinker with one of MLB’s best pitching staffs over winter meetings. In a blockbuster five-for-two player deal, Milwaukee sent minor league prospects packing primarily in return for Reds ace and prize acquisition from the Dodgers last season, Willie Diggins. While Diggins “struggled” a bit playing in a hitter-friendly park, he should see his numbers (1.25 WHIP, 3.78 ERA) rebound somewhat in Milwaukee.

The Brewers also aggressively traded for the Braves set-up man David Rojas, who’s 1.16 WHIP and 2.94 ERA certainly won’t adversely impact the team pitching stats. Opponents fighting their way through the Brewers’ starting five will not be happy to be staring down the gun of Rojas late in the game.

All that tinkering says a lot about the depth of talent stockpiled in the Brewers minor league system. Milwaukee has the luxury to continue to trade away major league prospects in bundles to bolster an otherwise already dominant pitching staff. And they did all that without trading their top prospects. Expect the Brew-crew to promote a potential future all-star in left fielder Carlos Ordaz and a prize prospect at short, David Macias, who can field his position and hit. Ordaz rarely strikes out, drives the ball well against right-handers with decent power and has a good eye for the strikezone. His weakeness is probably his defense. Likewise, don’t expect Macias to win a Gold Glove at short, but his defense is more than adequate and his bat will work some magic at the plate.

In addition to the trades for pitching, a key free agent signing was made to address the offense. The team opened up the checkbook and paid (some might add “over-”) for the services of third baseman Luther Becker (career .278/.388./.438), who netted a five-year $51 million deal. The signing of Becker fills a void in the lineup at third base, apparently one of the few holes the team had at AAA. The promotions of Ordaz and Macias coupled with the addition of Becker’s bat should only improve the club’s offensive attack that last year relied mostly on their version of the Six-Million-Dollar Man, Alex Gomez.

dwb’s take: After losing to the Rangers in Season Two’s World Series, the Brewers tap their talent-laden minors both to bolster their offense and to acquire Major League talent to win now behind a pitching staff that’s a couple seasons away from seeing their best years behind them. The moves should pay off. Expect Milwaukee to improve upon their win total this season, topping 100 games and securing its third straight division title.

Top RF

  1. Harold McKnight (LA)
    Makes contact a lot and hits for a lot of power. Solid at driving the ball. Good eye. Good speed. Solid range, great glove. Average arm.
  2. Braden Kubel (SD)
    One of the top available FA this offseason, Kubel hits for a high average with quite a bit of of power. He is dominant against LHP and alright against RHP. Solid eye. Good speed. Good range. Below average arm.
  3. Ernest Cambridge (FLA)
    Has tremendous power with a great eye. Struggles some against RHP, but is good against LHP. Makes a lot of contact. Average defensively.

Top CF

  1. Alex Cheng (ATL)
    Cheng has good range with an average glove. He hits for power and doesn’t strike out much. He’s average at driving the ball. Has a good eye that helps him get on base to make use of his great speed.
  2. Ringo Johnson (TEX)
    Johnson has tremendous power and dominates RHP. His eye is below average, but he doesn’t strike out much. He’s weak against LHP. He has decent speed. His glove is suspect, but his range is good.
  3. Orlando Soriano (CH1)
    Soriano has some power but struggles making contact. He does a decent job of driving the ball. He has a good eye. Slightly below average range, but great glove. Below average speed.

Top LF

  1. Reed Hoyt (TEX)
    Hoyt has tremendous power that goes with a great ability to drive the ball. He has a good eye. He’s going to strike out around the league average. Average defensively. Great speed.
  2. Michael Blasingame (LAA)
    Blasingame makes great contact and dominates RHP. He’s solid against LHP and has good power. He has a great eye. Solid speed. Decent defender.
  3. Merv Dorsey (HOU)
    Great at making contact, Dorsey has some power too. He does a decent job of driving the ball consistently. Can work the count occasionally. Great range, decent glove.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top SS

  1. Art Redding (FLA)
    A very good defender, Redding does not sacrifice his offense. Makes good contact, and drives the ball really well against LHP, even though he doesn’t have much power. He is above average against RHP. He has a decent eye.
  2. Steve Gil (TB)
    Gil dominates LHP, while being good against RHP. He has a good eye. He doesn’t strike out much and has good power. His defense is average as he is hurt quite a bit by his lack of range. Health is a huge concern.
  3. Hal Bell (CH2)
    An average defensive player, Bell makes up for this by being good at the plate. He’s good against LHP, solid against RHP, doesn’t strike out too much, and has some power. Does have good knowledge of the strike zone.